Falls are NOT a normal part of aging. Even if you are a baby-boomer, living your best life ever, many if not most falls can be prevented. You are in the driver’s seat. You can reduce your risk by exercising daily, making your environment safer, managing your meds and having regular eye exams.
Have you heard these 4 myths about aging and falling?
- If I limit my activity, I won’t fall. Some folks believe that the best way to prevent a fall is to avoid activities. Wrong! Physical activities will help you stay independent because your strength and range of motion benefit from remaining active.
- Falls happen to other people. “It won’t happen to me” is a common belief. The truth is that one in three older adults (about 12 million) fall every year in the U.S.
- If I stay home, I can avoid falling. Nope. Over one half of all falls take place at home. Inspect your home for fall risks and rid it of hazards such as throw rugs, clutter and poor lighting. Add a grab bar in the bathroom, a second hand-rail on the stairs, and non-slip paint on outdoor steps.
- Muscle strength and flexibility can’t be regained. Muscle is lost as we age, it’s true. But exercise can partially restore strength and flexibility. It’s never too late to start an exercise program which will benefit you in many ways, including protection from falls.
And…consider this: You are much less likely to suffer a fracture if you’re able to catch yourself before falling. Assess your balance by:
- Standing on one leg without holding onto anything – for one minute. Stand next to a wall or chair if you feel you might fall. If you can’t balance for at least 30 seconds, work on improving your balance.
- Sitting then standing 5 times as fast as you can – do it by standing up fully and sitting down with your bottom touching the chair. Time yourself. If it takes more than 13 seconds to complete, work on it!
We are here to help you with all of your orthopedic questions and needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us!