Senior Safety: Preventing Slips, Trips And Falls

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As we age, time takes its toll on the bodily systems that keep us balanced, making us more prone to dangerous slips, trips and falls. And while a fall can be a life-changing or even life-threatening event for an older adult, reducing one’s risk is easy.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recommends the following simple safety tips:

Do a home safety check. At least one-third of all falls involve hazards within the home. Be sure to remove throw rugs and low furniture, eliminate clutter, and secure carpeting and other tripping hazards like electrical cords. Your home should be properly lit, so that even at night your vision is not impaired. Install grab bars in your bathtub and handrails on your staircases.

Get regular exercise. Start an exercise program that includes activities that improve strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. Consult a health care professional before getting started.

Manage pain differently. “The same pills meant to make older patients with chronic pain more comfortable may also make them more vulnerable to falls,” says ACA president Dr. Keith Overland, who runs a practice in Norwalk, Conn. “Chiropractic services, including spinal adjustments and manipulation, exercise recommendations, rehab and nutritional and lifestyle counseling, are a great non-drug alternative to medications that affect your brain’s function and lead to dizziness or light-headedness.”

Another risk factor is combining prescription drugs with alcohol, over-the-counter allergy or sleeping medications, painkillers, or cough suppressants.

For more visit www.acatoday.org/healthyliving or www.acatoday.org/findadoc.

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