Here’s “How to Minimize the Risk”.
I just slipped on black ice while walking, it jolted my entire body. Thankfully, I did not go down. I had just been warning my son about it and it happened to me. I am always telling myself to be careful because I have had a few falling episodes in the past.
One of my clients is one of the top high jumpers in the world in his age group that I work with and he is in great shape; strong, balanced and flexible. He recently was taking his dog out for a walk and landed on his back. He thought he had broken his back and could not breathe. As good a shape as he is in, it took weeks for him to recover. He still feels tenderness in his lung over a month later.
Imagine if he was not so strong, balanced and flexible. So many people wonder why we should work out or what is the use? Or it is all about looking good and vanity. We are all one fall away from a potentially life changing experience. It does not take much to be in reasonable shape. With a set of dumbbells and 5-10 minutes workout, even once a week, makes a huge difference.
We must educate ourselves on the importance of fitness, strength and balance. I am not big on fat shaming at all. But fitness shaming, yes. It is too easy to do, to neglect it.
One of the most frequent causes of death listed for people my age, as well as some younger and many older folks, is “complications from a fall”. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. Every 19 minutes in this country, an older person dies from a fall.
Everyone falls now and then, and some falls are unavoidable. But falling is not an inevitable consequence of aging. Most age-related falls are preventable once you know why they happen and take steps to minimize the risk for yourself, relatives and friends, whose age or health status renders them especially vulnerable.
More than a quarter of individuals age 65 and older fall each year, and falling once doubles their chances of falling again, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A fall that may be run of the mill for a young person can be extremely dangerous for the mature adult.
One fall in five among older adults results in a serious injury, and older people are less able to recover from the trauma physically and emotionally. Although, broken bones are usually regarded as the most common serious consequence of falls, even if no fracture occurs, a fall can result in irreversible harm to a person’s health, social interactions and psychological well-being.
A common occurrence when older people fall is a heightened fear of falling, prompting them to minimize their activities and cause further physical decline, depression and social isolation, which in turn can diminish death.
Many factors common among older people can increase the risk of falling like: medical and orthopedic problems and the medications taken to treat them, physical changes that impair balance, gait and muscle strength, sensory declines in vision, hearing and awareness of body position, and pain that distorts body movements.
At the same time, there are ways to decrease the chances of a dangerous fall, starting with regular exercise to maintain strength, balance, endurance and coordination that can help you “catch yourself” and avoid a fall if you should trip. In addition:
· Get your eyes checked at least once a year.
· Shoes should fit well and be comfortable and supportive.
· Get rid of any footwear that may cause you to catch a foot.
· And most important be aware.
For more info about getting fit, balanced, flexible and strong to withstand and prevent a fall, call 203-240-4020 or go to osteopathicfitness.com