As many of us are aware, either from experiencing it ourselves or from watching it in others, aging is not a pleasant experience. As we grow older, our bodies deteriorate. Tasks that were simple for us once we were younger may become difficult or impossible to accomplish without assistance. Often the elderly need special care and attention, even around the clock, to make sure they aren’t injured and are able to live comfortably. One thing we especially need to be on the look out for is falls. Though the idea of falling may not seem threatening to most, to the elderly a fall at the wrong place or time can easily result in serious damage.
On Friday, September 22nd, the city of Tucson is recognizing Falls Awareness Day, a part of its larger September Healthy Aging month initiative. In a special report released by the Arizona Daily Star, the newspaper advises several ways you can help increase safety for yourself and any older adults in your life. They advise three main steps: First, make sure you’re getting regular exercise. Though maintaining physical shape may be difficult as we get older, even a little bit of effort can go a long way. There are many different types of exercise programs for older adults, such as water aerobics, programs focused on increasing balance, and many groups outdoor hiking. Usually, groups like this are very affordable for anyone interested. They’ll not only improve your coordination and reduce the risk of falls, but promote greater overall fitness. This will lead to longer and happier lives for you and your family.
Second, make sure to talk to your doctor. Every person should regularly talk with their health-care provider about their lifestyle and personal health concerns. This becomes especially important as aging makes you vulnerable to conditions that previously would have been no issue. Get advice on recommended exercise, foot care, eye care, and any worries about difficult movement. Light-headedness while standing up is an especially problematic sign. This can be an indication of poor blood pressure and easily lead to a fall. Make sure you understand the side effects of any medications and how they may affect your risks of falling.
Finally, make sure your home is safe. Make sure all areas are well lit, areas are free of clutter, floors are made of non-slippery surfaces with lots of traction, stairs are well maintained, and furniture is placed so it won’t cause problems. If you need to, be sure to obtain a walker or cane. When you’re at home, wear shoes to increase traction.
Still, no one can be entirely safe. Even if your home is comfortable, there are many things outside of it that are unpredictable and may lead to a fall. This can be dangerous. According to the Tucson law firm Russo, Russo, and Slania, injuries can very easily result in costly hospital bills. Fortunately, if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, there are plenty of ways to get compensation. Good luck and stay safe in avoiding falls!