According to AARP, one in three adults over the age of 65 fall every year; with many sustaining serious injuries such as a broken hip or head trauma. Indeed, a bad fall can be a lifestyle game changer. Sadly, every year, more than 2.5 million older adults are treated for fall-related injuries in emergency departments, and upwards of 734,000 are hospitalized.
Experts suggest that we all should work on our balance with exercises to avoid an unexpected loss of balance. Try standing on one foot while brushing your teeth or practice the sit and stand exercise. Or, ask a trainer to show you some easy, yet challenging, balance exercises to do at the gym. Other helpful activities include yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates.
Equally important in preventing catastrophe is avoiding common fall danger zones.
- Invisible Ice: This sneaky enemy to balance, black ice builds up on driveways and walking paths. Be pro-active and keep these areas salted on freezing days.
- Bathroom Blunders: A huge amount of falls occur in the bathroom where slippery surfaces abound. Consider installing a grab bar on the wall to help with balance when getting in and out of the tub.
- Cut a Rug: Loose rugs are common trippers. Check your common household routes to see if you are hosting these hidden hazards.
- Heel Hazard: Yes, we know, those sky high heels really compliment that outfit you have planned for an upcoming special event. But consider an equally attractive lower heel that will assure safer footing, especially in unfamiliar places.