Younger people can spring back from a fall. But for elders, taking a spill can lead to broken bones and trigger a domino effect of health problems and decline.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), every 18 seconds, an older adult is treated in an emergency room for a fall, and more than 95 percent of hip fractures are caused by falls.
Since falls can be a major setback, elders—and caregivers—must stay mindful of the specific risk factors that can lead to a big spill.
Here are four key factors that contribute to falls when you're older, and what you can do to prevent them.
Smart preventive measures include:
Another tip if you're moving after sleeping or sitting is to engage your extremities. "Pump your feet before you take a step," says Celeste Carlucci, president and founder of Fall Stop . . . MOVE STRONG.
"Without fitness and strength, it's very difficult to prevent falls, even when you're doing all the other right things, like safeguarding the home," says Carlucci, who offers numerous videos on her website aimed at helping seniors stay active. She also recommends that elders stay conscious of their posture and how they're stepping and standing, since those can affect balance and movement.
It's also important to note that fear of falling is an issue for older people and can be debilitating in its own right. "Caregivers can address the fear and help loved ones overcome it by putting into place preventive measures like these," says Carlucci.
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