Avoid A Fall : Here are some tips!
February 07, 2016
Fran Jensen bent down to get something that had fallen into her pool – but when she tried to stand up her arthritic knees buckled. Her frantic attempt to grab the retaining wall failed and the 73 year old slipped and slammed her head on the cement.
Jensen is not alone: falls are the leading cause of accidental injuries for people older than 65 years old. It's frightening – for the victims as well as their loved ones. According to the CDC, one out of three people 65 and older falls each year, and more than two million are treated in emergency rooms annually for those injuries.
You – or someone you love – could be next.
We're here to help. At Personal Response, we've come to the aid of many seniors who have fallen – they know they can count on us 24/7 - with just the touch of a button on their medical alert system. We can send medical help and alert family members.
Although we're grateful we're the ones trusted to help, we also want to share some advice about how to decrease these often debilitating falls.
According to Today's Caregiver, evidence shows an exercise and stretching program can decrease falls. Stretching tight hip flexor and hamstring muscles, which occur from too much sitting, helps.
Strengthening quadriceps and hamstrings will help keep knees strong, which helps when standing and walking.
A few lifestyle modifications can help as well.
Here are some of their suggestions:
* Take a bigger stride when walking.
* If using a walker, try placing the walker a little further out, then step. Using this method helps because you are staying on one foot longer each time you trade feet to walk.
* Try standing about three feet from a wall and slowly lean toward the wall; before you hit the wall, bring your hands out in front to catch yourself. (Pushing back from this position helps with "power.")
* When getting up from a reclining position, count to five before standing to avoid feeling light-headed and dizzy; take your time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a tool kit, called the STEADI tool kit (available on the CDC website) which includes information about falls, gait and balance assessment tests (with instructional videos), educational handouts about fall prevention designed for patients and their friends and family.
The kit is designed for caregivers as well to "help you incorporate fall risk assessment and fall prevention and enhance your efforts to help older adults stay healthy and independent."
Prevention is key – as they say, prevention is worth a pound of cure. We also believe in being prepared. So, for your peace of mind – invest in medical alert systems
. We'll be there for you.