Oct 12th 2018
You may try to eat right, exercise and hope to live past 100, but are you at risk from injuries you could prevent?
Every 20 minutes an older adult dies from a fall in the United States. Slipping in and out of the shower is a major cause of falls that result in broken bones and head trauma.
Take a few safety precautions:
When you step into the shower you should have a rough textured bath mat securely attached to the tub. When you exit the shower you should have a rubber base non-skid carpet to step onto.
If you happen to be traveling in a hotel where this amenity is not offered, you can take a small bath towel and put it inside the shower floor and wet it. Hopefully they will provide a shower rug to step onto after your bath, or you can use a towel so that you’re not stepping onto the slippery tile surface. Afterward its important to move towels off the floor away from areas where you may trip.
Once you reach age 60 you may notice your balance is not as good as it was when you were younger. Poor balance getting in and out of the shower or up from the toilet can be dangerous. You may find yourself tending to grab a towel bar. This is not a good idea as they were designed to hold towels, not a person. At home, make sure you have a securely fastened grab bar conveniently attached in the shower or by the toilet. Get a handyman to come and drill metal grab bars into the tile so they are secure. Do not use the ones that attach by suction as they may fail.
If you have a loved one getting up in years, you should have a slip resistant shower chair with a handrail close by, or tension pole drilled floor to ceiling, to aid in standing and sitting. A non-slip rug in front of the shower, toilet and sink can help to reduce slipping on wet tiles.
Research has identified other conditions that increase your risk of falling. They include:
- • Lower body weakness
- • Vitamin D deficiency
- • Use of sedating medicines
- • Poor vision
- • Fall hazards in the home
Lower body strengthening exercises and walking can help you maintain your balance as you age. Here is an example: you can practice standing from a sitting position using as little hands as possible, or standing on one leg then the other (with a chair in front close by to grab if needed). Yoga and Tai Chi exercises can help you maintain strength, mobility and flexibility.
A healthy diet with adequate protein to preserve muscle is important. Eating antioxidant rich berries, especially blueberries can help protect brain function and motor coordination with aging. (MDR offers Wild Blueberry Capsules to supply the many benefits of Blueberries in convenient easy to take capsules each day)
Making sure you get a moderate amount of Vitamin D3 is also important. (You can get Vitamin D3 in MDR Fitness Tabs complete multi-vitamin mineral complex.)
Following these simple guidelines can help you stay safe and independent so you enjoy a healthy long life.