Family Living Focus: Preventing falls
Don’t let a fear of falling keep you from being active. The good news is that there are simple ways you can prevent most falls.
Stay physically active. Regular exercise makes you stronger. Weight-bearing activities, such as walking or climbing stairs, may slow bone loss from osteoporosis. Lower-body strength exercises and balance exercises can help you prevent falls and avoid the disability that may result from falling.
Following are some fall prevention tips:
• Have your eyes and hearing tested often. Always wear your glasses when you need them. If you have a hearing aid, be sure it fits well, and wear it.
• Find out about the side effects of any medicine you take. If a drug makes you sleepy or dizzy, tell your doctor or pharmacist.
• Get enough sleep. If you’re sleepy, you’re more likely to fall.
• Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Even a small amount can affect balance and reflexes.
• Stand up slowly after eating, lying down, or sitting. Getting up too quickly can cause your blood pressure to drop, which can make you feel faint.
• Wear rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes that fully support your feet. Wearing only socks or shoes/slippers with smooth soles on stairs or floors without carpet can be unsafe.
Information adapted from article from NIH Senior Health, National Institute on Aging, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
If you would like more information on “Preventing Falls” feel free to contact Gail Gilman, Family Life Consultant, M.Ed., C.F.C.S. and Professor Emeritus – University of Minnesota at email@example.com. Be sure to watch for more Family Living Focus™ information in next week’s paper.