If we fear something, we tend to avoid it. For the fear of falling, this can be a vicious cycle for seniors. It is no secret that falling is scary and dangerous. It can lead to serious injuries and loss of independence. Yet the more you avoid moving around and being active, the higher your risk of falling becomes. Public health experts throughout the world grapple with this paradox. However, in the general population about 30 percent of seniors in any given community fall each year. There are some tips below to help you stay active and reduce your risk of falling.
This U.S. News article explains that many seniors have a legitimate reason for being afraid to fall. As we age, our balance and strength typically deteriorates. This creates a fall hazard. But the good news is that balance and strength can improve with mobility training. However, always consult your healthcare provider before engaging in any physical training.
Dr. Jack Guralnik, a professor of gerontology, says sometimes you just have to “be a little bit bold”. This doesn’t mean going out and training for a marathon. It could be as simple as holding on to the kitchen counter and lifting one foot and then the other. This is a good balance exercise. Even if you rely on a walker or other assistance for mobility, you can still participate in a little movement. In addition, physical therapists can help you assess what would be helpful to you.
A wonderful idea from this article is to have a walking companion. This could be your neighbor, caregiver, child, or anyone else who can just take a walk with you. This can ensure that should you need help, someone will be there for you. And it is much more fun to have someone you can go with! Enjoying your strength and balance training should be one of your main priorities. Like anything, if you enjoy it you’re more likely to engage in it regularly.