Thursday, January 31, 2013

Preventing Falls for Older Adults

Falls are the single largest cause of injury among seniors, and the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States.  It is estimated that one in three persons over the age of 65 is likely to fall at least once each year.  Nearly one-third of older adults who fall sustain serious injuries such as fractures and sprains.

Even if a fall does not result in hospitalization, fear of falling can become a major factor in a senior’s quality of life, as fear of falling leads to inactivity and loss of self-confidence.
How can you help prevent falls? According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, taking vitamin D supplements and participating in exercise or physical therapy can be effective.  This is because exercise, physical therapy, and vitamin D supplementation all have a beneficial effect on improving muscle strength and balance.  Vitamin D also is a supplement that is crucial for preventing loss of bone density.  Vitamin D decreases bone loss and lowers the risk of fracture, especially in older men and women. Along with calcium, vitamin D also helps to prevent and treat osteoporosis.  Click here for more information about Vitamin D and bone density.  Seniors can also make changes in their homes to prevent falls, such as adding hand rails to all stairs, tacking down rugs, clearing clutter from pathways, and wearing well-fitting shoes or slippers with non-skid soles. See the graphic below for more details.

When you think of your aging loved ones, what do you worry about most? One important way to gain peace of mind and to ensure they have the quality of life that they deserve is planning for the protections you want in your future.  To do so, consult a Certified Elder Law Attorney, such as Evan Farr at the Fairfax Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C.  for your estate planning and elder law needs. 

P.S. At the Fairfax Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C., we celebrate our clients and friends with monthly educational awareness events, featuring delicious refreshments. Click here for the complete calendar of events and be sure to RSVP for our next event focusing on Heart Month on February 7, from 6-7:30 pm.