As we age, our coordination declines. But getting older doesn’t have to be as difficult and scary as some might believe. A little precaution can go a long way in adding enriching time to our Golden Years. Want to learn a few ways to prevent falling and hurting yourself?
- Be careful with your meds. Have your doctor carefully explain how to take them. Avoid any drugs with dizziness listed as a side effect, whenever possible.
- If you take sleeping pills, take them only after you get in bed. Do not mix with alcohol.
- Keep night lights plugged in for middle-of-the-night bathroom trips.
- Avoid standing on stools or chairs to hang up pictures or change light bulbs. Have an aid or family member help.
- If you have to stand on a stool or chair, first test its legs to see how sturdy it is. Be sure you plant it firmly on a level surface.
- Have safety guard rails installed in the shower and adjacent to the toilet.
- Affix no-slip grip bath mats to the floor of your shower and/or bath.
- Wear sensible walking shoes around your home with rubber non-slip souls.
- Make sure all rugs are sealed or tacked down to prevent movement while walking on them.
- Keep all walking paths clear of debris or clutter. Trim shrubbery.
- Always wait for washed floors to be completely dry before walking across them.
- Have an aid, family member, neighbor or friend sweep or shovel walkways to avoid slipping on wet leaves or ice in the winter.
- Use a cane or walker when traversing any unleveled or rugged terrain.
- Use a cane or walker in public places with waxy, slippery floors.
- Take your time getting up from a seated position.
- Be extra cautious after consuming alcoholic beverages.
- Go to regularly scheduled eye exams.
- Have your hearing checked. Deteriorating hearing can cause dizziness and poor equilibrium and balance.
- Get light exercise a few times a week.
- Walk in safe neighborhoods and in malls with friends. Swimming is also an excellent way to stay active. An active lifestyle will strengthen muscles and bone density as well as improve mood.
- Avoid extremely hot temperatures.
- Be vigilant of your surroundings and learn how to lift and bend the proper way.
- Have a rubberized runner installed and firmly sealed on any stairs in your home.
- Mark the first and last step with a distinguishing color and any other raised or recessed surfaces in the home.
- Have all wires and cords in the home tacked down and cleared from walkways.
If you or someone you love does not have the resources to practice and enforce the safety measures outlined above, enlisting the support of a health care aid may be the best way to put the safety measures in place. Once you do, the benefits to your health and longevity will increase and you’ll receive a jolt to your overall independence.
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