Staying Upright Throughout the Aging Process
By Donna Stark
There are a lot of things to look forward to as we age, but an increased risk of accidental falls is certainly not one of them! They can lead to broken bones, muscle strains, joint damage, or worse! And although it's easy to say, "just be careful where you step," that doesn't always work in life when your days are busy and your mind is distracted. So, instead, it may be better to take some proactive steps to ensure your surroundings are as accident-free as they can be! Here are some suggestions.
Reaching for Things
Pulling out your kitchen chair or trying to balance on the counters isn't the best way to reach something on a high shelf. A better option is a step stool that has handles you can grab onto. Or, if the object is something you need to use fairly often, you may want to consider rearranging your shelves.
Taking Your Time
Is there someone knocking at your door? Is your phone ringing off the hook? If so, don't panic, and more importantly, don't rush to answer them! Take your time getting to where you need to be. The person at the other end of the line or at your door will wait, but if you want to be more proactive, just let them know ahead of time that you may need an extra minute or two to answer.
Your balance may not be that good anymore, so don't even attempt to hop on one foot while putting your pants on. Instead, get a chair or bench for your bedroom so you can sit down (and stay safe) while putting your clothes and shoes on.
Clearing Your Floors
It may be time to eliminate and organize those extra hazards littering your floors. Purchase some baskets to hold your grandchildren's and pet's toys, avoid leaving purses and bags near your walkways, and keep the shoes you aren't wearing off the stairs! Rearrange furniture if you are constantly tripping over or bumping into something and make sure your throw rugs are secure.
The handrails in and outside of your home are only as good as they are secure, so do yourself a quick favor and give them a shake or two. Make sure they are sturdy and that they don't pull away from where they should be attached. If they need to be repaired or updated, do it as quickly as possible.
Staying on Your Feet
With a few simple changes to what you already have or what you are already doing, you can improve your odds, reduce the risk of falling, and protect your overall independence. You can also keep your body healthy enough for all those visits with your grandchildren!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Amarillo, Tex.