It can happen to anyone.
Consider this: Your dad is 67 years old and fairly active. He’s lived in the same house for decades, and he’s familiar with its many corners and quirks ― so familiar, in fact, that he can walk from one end of the house to the other in near darkness with no problems.
One day, in the broad daylight, he’s walking down the stairs toward the living room, like he’s done hundreds of times before. He gets just a little bit off balance, and he slips. The next thing he knows, doctors are telling him that his hip is broken, and he’ll have to go through surgery and rehab.
The older we get, the more important it becomes to maintain our balance and agility. If we want to stay active in our older years ― to accompany grandkids trick-or-treating, to walk with loved ones in the park, to get around our homes unassisted ― we need to work at maintaining balance.
Again, it can happen to anyone. One in four Americans 65 or older will fall each year, and falls are the leading cause of death among the elderly, according to the National Council on Aging.
Fortunately, there are simple things your loved ones can do to prevent falls:
Join a social exercise program: Northwest Adult Day Health and Wellness Center offers fun daily exercise classes for seniors. Staying active is one of the best ways to maintain balance and agility, and the social component of these classes will help ensure that participants enjoy their time ― and keep coming. Good balance takes consistent effort. NWADH offers programs specifically for balance and fall prevention in addition to exercise and strengthening programs and individual assessments and on-site therapies.
Get a regular checkup: A medical evaluation with an eye toward balance and agility could reveal a lot about the challenges your mom or dad is facing. Blurry or impaired vision could prevent them from spotting objects blocking their path. Medications that don’t work well with each other could leave your loved one confused, dizzy or dehydrated, all of which can contribute to falls. Your loved one’s doctor can offer a complete rundown of solutions to any issues.
Reduce obstacles at home: Three out of four falls take place in the home. For a checklist of things you can do to improve a home’s senior-friendliness factor, check out this list from the National Council on Aging. The list includes great tips regarding placing commonly used items within easy reach, ensuring stairs remain clutter-free, and installing grab bars in the bathroom.
For more assistance in improving balance and reducing the risk of falls, reach out to the experts at Northwest Adult Day Health and Wellness Center. NWADH offers daily programs for older adults who want a fun place to hang out, socialize with one another and improve skills they need in daily life.