Look, kids, this is it. It’s not going anywhere . . . still the best ways to prevent falls in your later years. If you really want to dramatically reduce the risk of a fall (by as much as 50%) these are our Top 4 List. Write them down, copy/paste, share, memorize, whatever you have to do, do it. We all want you around for as long as you can stand it (no pun intended).
1. Take Vitamin D. Vitamin D benefits musculoskeletal health and falls prevention. The International Orthopedics Foundation (IOF) recommends vitamin D supplementation at 800 to 1000 IU/day for falls and fracture prevention in adults aged 60 and older.
2. Get BOTH your medication and your eyes checked regularly! Your eye sight is a rather obvious one, if you can see clearly, you are less likely to trip over something and take a nasty tumble. Your medication is less obvious; sometimes pills don’t go together and can make you dizzy or worse. This can lead to a possible fall, so make sure you aren’t mixing anything together that would cause fuzziness, blurred vision, dizziness, or fainting.
3. Household Safety. Often over looked, and absolutely critical. Loose rugs, pets that don’t get out of your way, poorly lit hallways and entryways, too much furniture, and general clutter will be a certain fall trap now or in the future. Make sure you have a safe home that has all that you need, and most importantly does not have what you don’t need.
4. Wait for it . . . Exercise! You saw that one coming, didn’t you? Can you hear it enough? Apparently not, seniors are still falling. Evidence-based, falls prevention exercise programs are the best programs to do, and it’s not as bad as you think. They are low impact and do more than just reduce the risk of falls. Tai Chi lowers your blood pressure, increases musculoskeletal strength and here’s what – you feel great when you do it 3 times/week. Otago is very low impact, and you can do both of these at home or from anyplace with internet and a Smart TV, or computer. Just stream the programs from iStandFit.com. They’re free! Save the link in your YouTube favorites and do the programs anywhere you have YouTube.
And, that’s it folks. Follow this short and simple list, get your kids to help. You and your neighbor help each other to get these things done, and do your exercise programs together, it’s more fun with a friend. Pick a weekend, you help a friend on Saturday, and it’s their turn to help you on Sunday. Get some friends together, do some exercises (they’re free), have a light lunch, and then go through the home safety checklist with each other. This year, 14 million seniors will fall from sheer stubbornness (No, we won’t!), so help us help you. Don’t fall this year unless you’re head over heels in love. Good luck!