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#51 ** 5 Ways to Prevent Falls -

Did you know – “Falls can kill you. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. Every 19 minutes in this country, an older person dies from a fall.”

This article caught my eye. You can find it in the 7/19/2019 personal health column of the New York Times. Often, it’s the complications from a fall that cause death. You might be thinking, “I’m not in the older adults category, so I don’t need to read any further.”

That might be true – but –  many acoustic neuroma patients have lost their hearing on one side, either as a result of the tumor or as a result of treatment. Single sided deafness can throw our balance off. Also, our tumor might be on the balance branch of the 8th cranial nerve. Hearing aids are getting better at giving us some hearing on our AN side. This will help our balance when we hear from both sides. Also, we won’t be startled as easily.

Besides the deafness, dizziness and light-headedness can result in a fall. If you have never fallen, high five! If you have had a fall, be careful because your chances go up for having another one.

Many falls are avoidable and that’s what I want to talk about in this blog. I want to address 5 ways we can prevent falls, or at least reduce our risk of falling.

1.  Shoe Selection – This is the number one tip in the article “Paramedics’ Tips to Prevent Falls.” High heels, floppy slippers, and slick soles can make you slip, stumble, and fall. So can walking in your stocking feet. Properly fitting, sturdy shoes are a must. An added plus: sensible shoes can reduce joint pain.

2.  Exercise – walking, water workouts, and tai chi reduce the risk of falling by improving strength, balance, coordination, gait, and flexibility. Tai chi is strongly suggested.

3.  Night Lights – Put night lights in your bedroom, bathroom, and hallways. Have a flash light in a place nearby for power failures.

4. Remove home hazards – Throw rugs, loose handrails, cords, and clutter especially on steps and traffic areas can cause us to trip. Clean up spilled liquids and food immediately.

 5. Behavior Hints  –

  • When tired, be extra careful. Maybe a fifteen-minute nap will prevent a fall.
  • Watch the amount of booze. Too much and a fall might result.
  • Regular eye checkups and a new pair of glasses can prevent falls.
  • Allow enough time to get ready; otherwise, rushing at the last minute can cause us to lose our balance.
  • Do not attempt something that you know is asking for trouble, like climbing up on a ladder.
  • Grab bars around the shower area can help. So can a non-skid shower mat.
  • Use assistive devices like a cane or walker on days when your balance is off.
  • Avoid walking and looking at your cell phone at the same time.

I hope these hints help you to avoid falls.

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Readers, have you had any bad falls? If so, go to the comments section and tell how it happened and what we can do to prevent such a fall.

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Dear Jesus, even the thought of falling is scary. Help me to use good judgment and do what I can to not fall. Amen.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains. Habakkuk 3:19


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