Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans and one single fall doubles your risk of falling again. The complications from a fall can be devastating, and even in the best-case scenario can affect our independence and ability to participate in essential as well as enjoyable activities.
It’s true that as we age our chances of experiencing a fall increase, but falls are caused by a number of risk factors that can affect a person of any age. The time to recognize risk and reduce risk factors is long before our age alone increases our likelihood of falling.
Let’s reduce and control our risk factors today!
- EXERCISE regularly to prevent deconditioning and weak muscles. If faced with a misstep, the likelihood of regaining balance and avoiding injury increases dramatically. Focus on activities which improve balance.
- UNDERSTAND dizziness or lightheadedness. There are many factors which can cause or contribute to this including changing positions quickly/blood pressure fluctuations, certain medications, and medical conditions. Always address incidents of dizziness, black outs, fainting, lightheadedness and vertigo right away with your doctor or health care provider.
- MANAGE pain conditions like arthritis and lower extremity neuropathies which can affect ability to walk.
- REGULATE alcohol consumption. The CDC recommended limit of alcoholic drinks per day is TWO for men under 65 and ONE for women (men over 65 are advised to limit alcohol to ONE per day). Be mindful of medications which interact with alcohol, too.
Look for more information about our Fall Prevention Lecture and demonstration presented by Stamford Health and HSS on October 27th here at the Y. Dr. Bret Sohn will also be here at the Y in October to talk about arthritis (October 10th) as well as Dr. Edward Schuster (October 24th) with his advice on longevity and good health. I’m available at various times each week to check blood pressure, so stop by (or email me for availability at a specific time [email protected]). And the opportunities to strengthen core and improve balance are endless here at the Y, so take advantage of as many as you can.
Stay upright, and keep moving!
Y Wellness Nurse Coordinator
Upcoming Stamford Health Lectures: Click Below to Register!