One of the biggest fears seniors have is losing their independence. This was recently confirmed by Eden Prairie seniors who took a city survey which asked seniors about services, activities, and attitudes. As we age, we cannot control everything in our lives that might affect our independence such as certain health problems or just getting old enough where we need a little help to manage our daily lives.
But we can ensure that we stay healthy and independent as long as possible by having good health habits, staying socially, mentally and physically active and avoiding falls. For an older person, a fall can easily result in a fractured hip or pelvis, and that can be an instant life changer that negatively impacts independence. We often think of falls as a risk during winter, which they are, but falls can happen in your home or outside on a summer day. There are many steps a person can take to reduce their risk of falling both at home and when out and about. Here are a few simple things you can do to reduce your risk of falling.
- Eliminate scatter rugs.
- Remove clutter and objects you could trip on.
- Watch where you are walking: uneven or wet pavement can be a hazard.
- If you spill, wipe it up promptly so you don’t slip.
- Have a well-lit home; replace light bulbs when burned out.
- Use a bench or chair in the shower.
- Have grab bars in your bathroom.
- Make sure you have sturdy railings indoors and outdoors.
- When sitting, get up slowly and get your balance before walking.
- Check with your doctor if you feel dizzy; some medications cause this.
- Exercise regularly to stay strong and flexible.
- Wear good shoes: avoid flip flops, backless slippers, or shoes that are too big or small.
- If you need a cane or walker for balance – use it!
Taking a few simple precautions can help you stay healthy, active, and independent. If you would like to learn more about Eden Prairie seniors’ responses to the City’s survey, go to www. edenprairie.org, click on “Parks and Recreation” then “Senior Center” and you will see a news item and link to the “Baby Boomer Survey Results.”
Submitted by EPPIA Members:
Holly Hansen, Senior Partner at www.BrilliantMovesMN.com
Rhonda Kalal, CAREGiver Director at www.homeinstead.com
EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA meets five times a year to exchange information and problem solve in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org.