Preventing falls may keep you out of a nursing home, allow you to stay independently mobile, and could even save your life.
Unfortunately, not many people realize just how important this issue is.
Or they don’t think there’s anything they can do to prevent falls, that falls just happen to some unlucky people.
And while, sometimes, this is true – falls can just happen.
But there are also ways you can minimize your risk of falling.
The Statistics Behind Falls
While preventing falls may seem like a good idea, it may also feel like a waste of time. After all, how important can preventing falls really be? It’s pretty important, once you look at some numbers.
Falls are the leading cause of nonfatal and fatal injuries in people age 65 and over. So much so that one in every three people in that age group will fall.
90% of all hip fractures are caused by falls – yet only 25% of those people will make a full recovery.
In fact, 40% of people who break a hip due to falling will end up having to move into a nursing home, and 50% will end up dependent on a cane or walker instead of regaining full mobility.
But perhaps most shockingly, 20% of people who break their hip in a fall will die within a year of the accident. These are not encouraging statistics.
Understanding the Causes of Falls
There can be medical or personal reasons a person might fall. Identifying them can help mitigate their risks. Some of the most common ones are:
- Age - your risk of falling goes up the older you get.
- Activity level.
- Poor nutrition.
- Medication side effects.
- Joint health.
But before you get discouraged, remember, we’re talking about preventing falls, which means there are steps you can take!
Reducing the Risks and Preventing Falls
While there’s nothing you can do about aging, you can address the other common reasons people fall.
1. Recognize the physical changes that come with age. When you were younger, you could wear the high heels or the leather-soled wingtips. Or climb up and down the ladder or up onto the counter top to reach the higher shelves. These days, it makes sense to be a little more careful than that. Wear lower heels with soles that won’t slip. Rearrange your house so that things are easier to reach. Simple changes in the house can go a long way to preventing falls.
2. Get moving. Talk to your doctor about some kind of exercise routine. Too many people are afraid of falling, so they don’t move enough. But that can have the exact opposite result they’re looking for. Not moving enough can make you more prone to falling. Instead of being afraid of exercise, embrace it. It can help prevent falls! Get some aerobic exercise most days a week, but remember to work strength and balance exercises into your routine at least two days a week, as well.
3. Take a look at your diet. Of course, the first thing to do is make sure you’re getting a healthy diet. Getting all the elements of a healthy diet will help keep you healthy, and less likely to fall. But even more tangibly, make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D and calcium. Strong bones are stable bones. And stability is the key to preventing falls.
4. Stay up on your medications. Make sure that your medications are well-labeled and clearly marked. Also, only take them how and when directed. Finally, whenever you are given a new prescription or are thinking about a new supplement, be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist about drug interactions.
5. Protect your joints. Just like strong bones are stable bones, healthy joints are stable joints. Flexibility exercises will help keep your joints moving smoothly. Wearing the right shoes and eating a healthy diet contribute to healthy joints, as well. And of course, take the right supplements, like LunaFlex PM, that are specifically designed to protect the health of your joints.
Don’t let the fear of falls control your life. They’re not inevitable, no matter what you’ve been told in the past.
Preventing falls is easy, and doesn’t require any great sacrifices on your part. You can stay healthy, stay independent, and stay strong - longer than ever.