By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.
Tripping and falling are not a natural part of the aging process, Robin White, RN, told those attending the program she conducted on Fall Prevention earlier this week at the Heritage Woods of Dwight affordable assisted living community that we manage in Dwight, Illinois.
Robin is a registered nurse with Girling Health Care, a Medicare-certified home health agency that has a specialized Balance and Fall Prevention Program.
She cited some interesting information from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention:
30% of those 60+ and 50% of those 80+ are going to fall at least once.
If you are going to break something, it most likely will be because of a fall.
50% of those over 80 who are hospitalized because of injuries sustained in a fall are never able to go home and live independently.
You are more likely to fall in your home than when you are out in public.
After a fall, people often become depressed and socially isolated because they change their lifestyle due to the fear of falling again.
A person’s balance in their 90s should be no different than someone in middle age, Robin said. Falling and tripping are most likely the result of health problems that often are treatable, and there are things you can do to reduce the risk of falling.
Take steps to strengthen the inner core of your body; regular exercise and physical therapy can help.
Remove throw rugs, especially those that are slippery or slide.
Be that lighting is good; as we age our eyes need more light, and shadows can cause problems.
Be sure that there are no electric cords running across the floor.
Clean up spills immediately.
Keep walkways and doorways clear from clutter.
Keep a telephone close by so you don’t have to rush to answer a phone.
Use a good step stool, ask for help, or use a “reacher” if you must reach items that are up on a high shelf.
Make sure grab bars are properly installed in a stud.
Don’t carry more items than you can safely handle.
Give yourself plenty of time to go to the bathroom.
If you do fall, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.
To determine your risk of falling, Robin suggested having a fall risk assessment done by a physical therapist. The results can be shared with your doctor.
For more information about the Girling Home Health and its Balance and Fall Prevention Program, you can call 1-800-GIRLING (1-800-447-5464) or visit www.Girling.com
Heritage Woods of Dwight is an affordable assisted living community managed by BMA. Located in Dwight, Illinois, the community is designed for adults 65 and older of all incomes who need some help to maintain their independence.
All affordable assisted living communities managed by BMA Management, Ltd. are certified and surveyed by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. All assisted living communities are licensed and surveyed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
“BMA Management, Ltd. is the leading provider of assisted living in Illinois
and one of the 20 largest providers of assisted living in the United States.”
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