Active lifestyle, visits to the doctor can reduce the risk of falls (Healthy You)
WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — We’ve all seen the life-alert ads with the phrase “Help, I’ve fallen and can’t get up,” and the reality is that it can happen to anyone. .
It’s a balancing act to stay healthy.
“I think being honest with themselves about the deficits they see as they age and being evaluated and treated with their primary care physician is a primary way to treat and prevent falls,” said Alan Coleman , Medical Director of United Regional Trauma.
Coleman said one in three to four seniors, so aged 65 and over, fall each year. He said if they fall they are two to three times more likely to fall again in the same year.
“Not all traumatic injuries occur as a result of falls, however, of all those falls, about one in five or so actually results in a traumatic injury, and by traumatic injuries I mean hip fractures and brain damage. traumatic which are the highest. injury incident,” Coleman said.
If you fall, don’t panic.
“If they fall and they are conscious, the first thing I recommend is to assess themselves to see if they hurt anywhere in particular, if certain things hurt, try not to move if they feel comfortable at that time, then crawling to a stable surface to help get up is helpful,” Coleman said. “It’s always helpful to carry your cell phone around the house as it gives them easy access wherever they land to call for help.”
Fall risk comes from many things. Maybe it’s a change in blood pressure and heart rate or your balance.
“Balance is not just one thing or another, it’s a multitude of things that lead to it,” said Travis Newberry, regional director of United’s rehabilitation, wound care and sports medicine services. “So if you do, if someone feels like they’re not safe or they might fall, the anxiety will often cause people to do less, which is counterproductive. for their long-term stability.
Less isn’t more In this case, Newberry said, staying active keeps you on your feet.
“The most common misconception is that if I feel dizzy or less stable than this, do less then I’ll be ok with that, it just means your system is becoming less accustomed to challenges” , said Newberry. “So I’ve seen elderly patients who have poor balance, I’ve seen people who aren’t elderly who have poor balance and conversely I’ve seen very elderly patients with great balance and those almost two and one, if an old person has a good balance, he is still very active.
Balance has to do with vision, your inner ear and how you see your foot in relation to the ground. If you notice any changes in these things or in your body strength, it’s time to see a doctor.
“If you start to notice that you have weakness, an evaluation by your primary care physician or seeing a physiotherapist is helpful as they can recommend certain medical devices like walkers and canes to help you move around” , Coleman said. “Sometimes weakness in the lower extremities, in particular, sometimes results from not using those muscles and so they may recommend strengthening exercises.”
The more you move, the better your balance and the less likely you are to fall.
United Regional’s Transition Clinic on 11th Street offers informational pamphlets on topics such as fall prevention and the benefits of staying active.
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