Falls are the top cause of accidents in people over the age of 65. Falls are also the main cause of serious injuries and accidental deaths in older people. It is a real threat to your ability to live on your own. Falls can be markers of poor health and declining function, and they are often associated with significant morbidity. More than 90 percent of hip fractures occur as a result of falls, with most of these fractures occurring in persons over 70 years of age. Risk factors for falls in the elderly include increasing age, medication use, cognitive impairment and sensory deficits.
You do have some control in preventing and dealing with falls. Action that is directed at the underlying cause of the fall and can return a person to baseline function and reduce the risk of recurrent falls. These measures can have a substantial impact on the morbidity and mortality of falls. The resultant gains in quality of life is significant.
The normal changes of aging are the primary cause of falls such as:
- poor eyesight
- poor hearing
- lack of strength or balance
- environmental hazzards such as poor lighting or throw rugs
- side effects of some medicines prescribed for common ailments like depression, sleep problems and high blood pressure, diabetes and heart conditions
Here are some at-home tips to prevent falling:
- Wear shoes with nonskid soles (not house slippers).
- Be sure your home is well lit so that you can see things you might trip over.
- Use night lights in your bedroom, bathroom, hallways and stairways.
- Remove throw rugs or fasten them to the floor with carpet tape. Tack down carpet edges.
- Don’t put electrical cords across pathways.
- Have grab bars put in your bathtub, shower and toilet area.
- Have handrails put on both sides of stairways.
- When you get up from bed during the night or in the morning, sit on the side of the bed for a minute or two before you stand up. This will give your blood pressure time to adjust, and you will feel less dizzy.
- Use caution when climbing on stools and stepladders or get someone else to help with jobs that call for climbing.
- Don’t wax your floors at all, or use a non-skid wax.
- Have sidewalks and walkways repaired so that surfaces are smooth and even.
Next, get regular check-ups from your doctor:
- Have your eyes checked every year for vision changes, cataracts, glaucoma and other eye problems.
- Have your hearing checked every two years, or anytime you or others think that you can’t hear well.
- See your doctor if you have foot pain or corns, or if you can’t trim your toenails well. Sore feet could make you fall.
- See your doctor right away if you feel dizzy, weak or unsteady on your feet, if you feel confused, or if you fall.
- Let your doctor know if a medicine is making you feel dizzy or making you lose your balance.
Keep your body in good shape:
- Drink at least 2 quarts of water a day.
- Get regular exercise, especially walking.
- Consult your personal trainer on the proper way to train for strength, balance and proper posture and gait patterns necessary for walking and lifting.
- Don’t smoke.
- Limit your alcohol intake to two drinks or less a day.
Falls in the Elderly GEORGE F. FULLER, COL, MC, USA, White House Medical Clinic, Washington, D.C. Am Fam Physician. 2000 Apr 1;61(7):2159-2168.
A weak balance: The contribution of muscle weakness to postural instability and falls. Corinne GC Horlings, Baziel GM van Engelen, John HI Alum and Bastiaan R Bloemx
This month, we’re focusing on balance. Click the picture and see the ways you can improve upon your own balance.
~ Adapted from my favorite cookbook, Cooks Illustrated
It’s a one pot meal that’s easy to prepare. The resulting dish is very accessable to those who don’t like a lot of spice. For those that do, a dash of Tabasco livens it up nicely. Also try adding a squeeze of lemon to lighten the flavor. With the easy substitution of chicken broth for wine and half of the olive oil, I made the dish a bit healthier too. Serve with a salad and you’ve got a well balanced complete meal.
5 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 cup of wild rice
2 cups water
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
4 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon saffron
2 cups frozen peas
Combine olive oil with a half a cup of chicken broth. Heat a large pan until it is very hot and place the chicken breasts evenly along the bottom. Brown on both sides – approxiamately 5 minutes each. Set the chicken aside and add onion cooking until it is transluscent – approxiamtely 3 minutes while stirring continuously to avoid scorching. Stir in garlic and thrity seconds later add paprika and saffron along with the rice. Cook and stir the mixture for 2-3 minutes being sure to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add water and chicken broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Nestle the chicken on top, reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes. Then stir contents until thoroughly mixed while scraping the bottom again. Cook another 15 minutes until chicken is done and rice is tender. During the last 5 minutes of cooking time, add peas and cover once more.
Nutrition facts per serving:
Calories 395.8 kcal
Carbohydrate* (35%) 34.75 g
Protein (52%) 49.64 g
Total Fat (13%) 5.87 g
Monounsaturated 2.02 g
Polyunsaturated 1.4 g
Saturated 1.57 g
Cholesterol 111.45 mg
Dietary Fiber 6.48 g
Vitamin A 749.46 IU
Thiamin 0.39 mg
Riboflavin 0.4 mg
Niacin 21.76 mg
Pantothenic acid 1.59 mg
Vitamin B6 1.15 mg
Folate 84.68 mcg
Vitamin B12 0.44 mcg
Vitamin C 20 mg
Vitamin E 1.16 mg ATE
Calcium 63.21 mg
Iron 3.52 mg
Magnesium 104.45 mg
Phosphorus 482.56 mg
Potassium 829.06 mg
Sodium 192.12 mg
Zinc 3.52 mg
Copper 0.4 mg
Data source: USDA Nutrient Database, R17
Scott Genzman was referred to BodyBasics one year ago by his son. Scott had been troubled with bouts of severe back pain off and on for over 20 years, ever since he “threw it out” while playing basketball. Due to his injury he could not bend over to pick anything light off the floor let alone participate in golf which he enjoys during his free time. When he initially came to BodyBasics, he was simply tired of getting band aids in the form of pain medication and massage therapy, although both modalities when used at the right time can be very beneficial. They simply were not getting to the root of the problem. After a careful and uncomfortable movement screen Scott began training. A slow and steady start consisted of two thirty minute sessions per week. When Scott first started he could only do very slow and limited core exercises while lying in a safe position on a table. He slowly left the table and began to train more frequent graduating to hour long sessions two to three times each week. Scott is very proud that only one year later he can now swing his golf club without fear of re-injury. Just the other day he tied his all-time best golf score, while driving the ball 300 yards on the 18th hole! Congratulations on your renewed health, hard work, and dedication!
Saturday, June 2, 2012 / 5k Night Run/Walk
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