By Patti Vogl, MSW, LSW
Certified Care Manager
Many believe that the risk of falls are an unavoidable part of the aging process, but this is not true.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-fourth of Americans over the age of 65 do fall in any given year.
At The Option Group, we want everyone to live a safe, enriched life. Our experienced care managers have the tools and resources to help navigate this journey of aging, discovery, and the healthcare maze. If you or a loved one is experiencing stress, frustration, and the consequences or risk of falls, contact us. Let us help evaluate the situation and provide clear choices that lead to better care.
Let’s Face the Facts:
The truth is that most falls can be prevented and there are things we can all do to reduce this risk. Falls are scary and can lead to serious consequences.
Some people erroneously believe that by minimizing their activity that they can reduce their risk of a fall. Now, it is true that we naturally lose muscle as we age, however, it has been proven that physical activity helps you maintain your strength, range of motion, and reaction times.
It is never too late to start an exercise program so ask your physician to recommend a program that is right for you.
What You Can Do Now to Reduce Fall Risk:
This may surprise you; over half of all falls take place in the home. Furthermore, falling once doubles your chances of falling again. Follow the examples below to ensure you proactively make your home as safe as possible:
- Clear any clutter that blocks paths and remove throw rugs.
- Add lighting to dark areas.
- Add grab bars in the bathroom.
- Make sure that stairs are free of debris and that there is a solid handrail in place.
- Use non-slip paint on outdoor steps.
In addition to these tips, more information is available by visiting the National Council on Aging Falls Free CheckUp.
Don’t Ignore These:
In addition to the benefits of exercise and maintaining a proper living environment, there are other factors to regularly monitor.
Medications have a useful purpose. However, they affect people in different ways and side effects, like dizziness and fatigue, may be an issue. Talk with your physician or a pharmacist to make sure you understand all possible side effects of your medications, especially when starting a new medication.
Regular vision and hearing checkups are important as well, so schedule annual visits.
Walking is one of the activities that most of us can do and offers many health benefits. Do not let pride get in the way of using a walking aid, such as a cane or a walker, when necessary. Using a walking aid properly and consistently will give you the confidence to participate in community activities.
COVID-19 has thrown us all for a loop and has kept us from enjoying time with friends and family. With vaccination numbers increasing, and safe habits in place, this is the time to take action. With Summer here, get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
There’s More Life to be Lived:
Life carries on and we want you to enjoy every moment from a place of safety. Go forth – clear your mind, listen to the symphony of cicadas, smell the pungent flowers, refresh your body, drink in life. Enhance your life and reduce your stress with these simple tips. And remember, help is a phone call away.
If you or someone you care about needs additional support to help cope, The Option Group is here to help. Please contact our professional care management team for assistance.
About The Option Group: Founded in 2010, The Option Group’s compassionate team of experienced Certified Life Care Managers serves families, their loved ones, medical professionals, and professional family advisors in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. The firm understands the challenges of caring for an individual who needs assistance due to aging, dementia, disability, or serious illness. Their skilled providers possess over 100 years of combined experience navigating the healthcare maze and accessing hundreds of quality resources. The Option Group helps families spend quality time with their loved ones, providing clear choices that lead to better care. For more information, visit www.theoptiongroup.net or call 410-667-0266 (MD) or 717-287-9900 / 610-885-8899 (PA) / or 302-858-6449 (DE).