Welcome back for part 2 and thank you for sticking with me. If you didn’t read the part 1 of this series, I do recommend you take a look at the information there at some point. Today we’re going to talk about ways to actively reduce the chance of a fall.
REDUCING THE RISK
- Get a check-up – Frequent check-ups will do more to prevent a fall than anything. If you are alerted to a potential risk, you will be much more able to avoid the fall. Generally a doctor will assess your overall health, but make sure your doctors include the following checks:
- Your gait – The way you walk says a lot about your general health, both mental and physical. This will usually be one of the first things that your doctor tests.
- Balance – Your balance is another holistic measure that will allow your doctor to drill down into more specific issues if a problem is found.
- Mobility – Your general ability to move affects your ability to react quickly to an unexpected event that may cause a fall. You also gain the ability to avoid hazards that may cause a fall if you are relatively mobile.
- Physical fitness – This is defined as the ability to easily perform day-to-day tasks. If you cannot, then you are more likely to experience a fall in the home.
- Heart rate – The heart rate affects many other aspects of the body, including brain function, motor skills, and vision.
- Blood pressure – High blood pressure may be indicative of stress, which increases the risk of a fall.
- Muscle strength – Stronger people can resist imbalance and step over hazards. People with stronger muscles will also be able to walk more effectively and balance themselves to avoid falls.
- Nerve health & reflexes – Reflexes are very important, because many falls are caused from unexpected events or hazards.
- Diet – The way that you eat speaks to your general health and may affect your heart rate, balance and vision.
- Pain – If there is any pain in your body, then your body may be trying to tell you something – something that will help you avoid a fall.
- Arthritis – Joint pain makes it harder to avoid falls. Symptoms of arthritis must be controlled as a part of a fall protection strategy.
- Fear of falling – As mentioned above, people who are more fearful of falling are actually more likely to fall. Your doctor should assess this psychological condition if it is present and work to remove it.
- Brain function – The ability to think fast speaks to your reflexes and muscular reactions. The better these are, the more you will be able to resist a fall.
- Modify your home – Try front-door showers rather than a shower curtain, put carpets on floors, widen door frames, reduce door curb height and install fall protection systems like railings. All of these modifications will dramatically reduce the risk of a fall.
- Physical fitness – It’s time to work out. Get your aging loved one to move in gentle, but positive ways. When he or she increases muscle and bone strength in hips, back and legs, their gait will strengthen. This will make it much less likely that they will fall. Special exercises can also help strengthen specific weak points for an aging adult.
- Nutrition – Bottom line, a good diet will make a difference. Eating properly will improve the nervous system, gives energy to muscles and encourages heightened brain function.
When you do everything that you can to help your loved one to prevent a fall, you are prolonging not only his or her life, but their quality of life as well. Let’s get proactive, mom and dad deserve the effort.
Now, if you are a Real Estate professional in this space or you’d just like to work with the above 50 market in any capacity, I’ve got great news. I will be teaching a Senior Real Estate Specialist designation course coming in January 2018 so save the date and reach out to me at [email protected] for updates.