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For Your HealthPreventing Falls For Your Older Loved OnesBY KELI CARTER, Director of MarketingEvery year one in four older adults fall. Falls are the leading cause of injury and death among older adults 65 and over. As a person ages they lose coordination,flexibility, and balance, which is mostly caused by inactivity. It is important to always get a yearly physical with your doctor. Bring a list with all of your pre- scriptions and over the counter medi- cations to your appointment to discuss side effects. Certain medication could increase your risk of falling because it causes dizziness or drowsiness. Chronic conditions such as diabetes and arthritis can result in loss of function or inactivity, which can contribute to falling. Falls are a serious topic for our aging population but there are some important precautions to help reduce falls. If you have an aging friend or family member there are many ways you can help them stay safe and in- dependent. Creating a safe environment is key to preventing falls.Clean up clutter and remove potential hazardsOften times there are areas in our homes that we do not consider being dangerous until it is too late. To make your home safer:• Remove clutter from the floor, such as old newspapers and magazines.• Secure rugs with non-slip backing or remove loose rugs all together.• Repair loose wooden floorboards.• Use non-slip mats in your bathtub andshower.• Clean up any spilled liquidimmediatelyBrighten up your living areasKeeping your home brightly lit can help avoid tripping on hard to see objects.• Place a lamp close to your bed in caseyou need to get up in the middle ofthe night.• Place nightlights in all of the mainareas, like the bedroom, bathroom, and hallways.• Consider storing flashlights in easy to access areas in case there is a power outage.• Place outside lighting along sidewalks and pathways.Maintain a healthy lifestyleWith your doctor’s permission stay active by walking, swimming, or any other activity that keeps you moving, like dancing. Activities such as these will help improve your strength, balance,coordination, and flexibility, which will help reduce the risk of falling.Fear of falling should not rule a per- son’s life and simple preventative mea- sures can help prevent falls from occur- ring. A few more simple suggestions include:• Avoid wearing loose fitting clothingthat is baggy and drags the ground. • Be sure to wear shoes that fit prop-erly. Avoid shoes with slick soles orfloppy shoes.• Install handrails and grab bars forgoing up and down stairs, getting on and off of the toilet, and for getting out of the bathtub or shower.• If at all possible, live on one level.Although statistics show falls are a true problem in the aging population, re- member preventative measures at home and maintaining strength and balance are the keys to remaining independent and healthy at home.A MEDICARE RATED FIVE STAR FACILITY!★★★★★FOR A VIRTUAL TOUR VIST www.laurelsobedford.comWe Provide Top Quality Nursing Care & Therapy!SERVICES WE PROVIDE• Skilled Nursing Care • Respite Care• Palliative Care• Wound Care• Short-Term Rehab• Outpatient Rehab• Stroke Rehab• Joint Replacement Rehab(269) 968-2296 • www.laurelsofbedford.com270 NORTH BEDFORD ROAD • BATTLE CREEK, MI 49037HEALTH ISSUE I SCENE 4309 21

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