Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Yoops! Falling risks
I am one—a Falling Risk. They put this on a big red bracelet if you enter the hospital as someone over 60.
My sister and I—and our 94-year-old mother—all mince around in a gingerly fashion, hoping not to be dashed to the floor with broken bones.
The CDC says 20K people die from falling each year.
Falling also accounts for 15% of injuries and workers comp for those still gainfully employed.
Mike Ross, author of The Balance Manual, and a exercise physiologist at Loyola, says bodily changes as you grow older increase falling risks.
Equilibrium and balance come from the inner ear and brain. As we age the eardrums thicken and balance is new precise.
Aging also breaks down cells in the nervous system—slower signals to right uourself.
To prevent falls, check your footwear—look for traction, especially on icy sidewalks.
Keep a shovel and salt handy for icy days.
Make sure your railings are strong.
As for help—see a big expanse of ice—like parking lot—ask for an arm.
Strengthen your legs—a couple of times a week, get in and out a chair repeatedly.
That last is great unless you have arthritic knees.
All I can say is take your best shot—and hope the shot doesn’t get ya.
What about those I am Falling and I Can't Get Up doodads? I can't afford it--and probably it would not work if I needed it. Look--I know how life is.