Friday, May 18, 2012

Safety Reminder

One in three adults over 65 falls each year.  Less than half tell their doctors, family members, caregivers or friends!  Don't be afraid to ask the questions, don't let your loved one stay quiet.

There are three causes - Osteoporosis, Hazards in the Home and Impaired Vision that can be managed with active prevention.

Osteoporosis -
  • Calcium - Recommended intake of 1,200 mg a day - milk, yogurt, cheese, oatmeal, broccoli, kale, oranges, collard and turnip greens, arugula, white beans,  sardines, salmon, and shellfish, soy milk, soybeans, tofu, sunflower seeds, almonds
  • Vitamin D - used for the absorption of calcium - without sufficient amounts of Vitamin D, calcium is not properly absorbed.  Natural sunlight causes the body to make it's own vitamin D.  Due to medications a loved one maybe taking, getting into the sun may not be an option.  They may need a supplement.
  • Exercise - lifting light weights, doing a physical activity - walking, swimming, yoga, stretching just 15 minutes a day makes a difference in balance and flexibility.

Hazards in the Home - the cause of one-third of all falls
  • Throw rugs - remove them from the home, tack down any loose carpet edges
  • Clutter - remove any items that can be tripped over - store them in bins out of walk space
  • Poor Lighting - have nightlights and motion sensitive lights in all dark areas - halls, bathrooms
  • Unsteady Furniture or Lack of Grab Bars/Handrails
  • Emergency Response System - an emergency button worn around the neck or attached to clothing used to call for assistance

Impaired Vision - can be a natural part of the aging process
  • Poor Eyesight - make sure glasses are being used, keep smudge and dirt free
  • Cataracts and Glaucoma - yearly check ups with an ophthalmologist to detect and correct glaucoma and cataracts before too much damage to the eyes is done
                       
Many falls can be prevented.  Give yourself and your loved one piece of mind by managing the risks involved.

from Silvia Comfort, the DeWitt County RSVP Coordinator

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