May is National Osteoporosis Month, and a good time to remember that although good bone health is important at all stages of life, people aged 65 and older should literally be taking proper steps to ensure a good quality of life. In addition to the 3 important habits for building strong bones we mentioned earlier this month, and for preventing and managing osteoporosis, a conscious effort to prevent falls is a very important consideration.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation website, approximately one-third of persons over the age of 65 experience at least one fall each year. Many of these spills cause bone breaks. For a number of people, bone fractures begin a significant downward spiral in mobility and quality of life. If you, or someone you know may be vulnerable to falls and fractures, remember these suggestions.
– Wear low-heeled, comfortable shoes with rubber soles to improve stability. In winter weather, wear boots to decrease the potential of slipping.
– Look first before proceeding. If leaving your home at dusk or in the evening hours, turn on outdoor lighting so you clearly see where you’re going. If you see sidewalks that are uneven or look slippery, walk on the grass in order to gain better footing. In public or unfamiliar settings, glance at the flooring for signs of slipperiness or slightly elevated areas. Before stepping up or off a curb, take a close look at the height.
– Be cautious. If handrails are available on steps and escalators, use them. If circumstances call for a cane or walker, use them. In situations such as inclement weather, consider using delivery services, or ask a friend, neighbor or family member that can bring prescriptions or groceries to you. There’s no need to take unnecessary actions that could lead to bad results.
Taking that extra minute to assess circumstances around you can lead to several years of good mobility and bone health. It’s worth it.