June is National Safety Month, so aside from the typical scenarios we think of when it comes to safety (fire exits, distracted driving, etc.) it’s important to recognize that one of themost dangerous events that can occur in your life is a fall. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall and every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.” The good news is that a fall can be prevented, and below are my tips on how to do so.
1. Clean it up! Clear your floors of clutter you might trip over such as toys from the kids or the dog.
2. Toss out that rug! You know the one that always slides around even with the non-slip pad underneath and corners you always trip over?
3. Before that midnight bathroom “trip”, plug in night lights leading to the bathroom to avoid walking through the dark. Better yet, avoid drinking too much before bed!
4. Rub a dub dub, how not to fall in the tub! Make sure you use stick tape in the shower and install grab bars.
5. Pick those feet up! Make sure you’re not shuffling your feet when you’re walking! Do not wear flip flops, slippers, or just socks around your house.
6. What’s up doc? Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking that could increase your risks for falling.
7. Are you listening to me? Make sure your vision and hearing get checked regularly so you can stay alert and be aware of any tripping hazards.
Most importantly you should START AN EXERCISE PROGRAM! As we age and often become less active, our muscles atrophy (waste away) and we lose flexibility. To reverse this your exercise program should include improving on strength and flexibility. At Dedham Health & Athletic Complex, we have a unique approach to achieve these goals with our B.A.S.E. Program! This is something everybody should check out even for a loved oneCLICK HERE.
– Mark Wesgan, Exercise Physiologist at Dedham Health