Tips For Avoiding Injury As You Get Older

Find out the leading causes of injury in the elderly and how to avoid them and prevent the consequences being so devastating when they do occur.

According to reports from UK charity Age UK, falls are the most common type of injury experienced by older people aged 65 and over. They are also the leading cause of death in the over 75’s.

Injuries caused by falls and other accidents don’t have to be expected because you are moving into older age. Preventing injuries is one of the most important ways to protect your health as you get older and provide good care of the elderly.

Here are some of the most common reasons for injury in the elderly, and top tips on preventing them occurring:

Poor Vision

Poor vision makes you more likely to suffer injury as an elderly person. When you age your eyesight deteriorated naturally, so naturally you won’t be able to see as well as you could. Particularly bright lights, evening lighting and a problem with spatial awareness and how close or far we perceive objects all cause vision issues. To avoid these problems you should get your eyes tested regularly to rule out conditions like glaucoma. If those issues arise treating them will help maintain eyesight. You should also keep glasses up to date and if you do develop an untreatable eyesight problem, seek support from social services or your local councilfor home adjustments and vision aids.

Poor Hearing

Your hearing may deteriorate with age which can make you less aware of things like cars, bicycles and other moving hazards, as well as smoke alarms and other warning noises. Regular hearing checks should be done to ensure you get a hearing aid when you need one.

Cognitive Function

How we relate to our environment is important in relation to safety. Your family, friends and live in carer should keep a close eye on your for signs of dementia to ensure you are safe in your environment. The sooner dementia is diagnosed, the sooner a senior can be placed in a safe environment whether that is the home, or a special assisted living facility for those with dementia.

Medication

Medication can be responsible for all kinds of tricky symptoms like dizziness, drowsiness, vision issues and nausea. If you are suddenly experiencing symptoms after starting a new medication, speak to your pharmacist or GP or let your home help or assisted living contacts know as soon as possible. It is also a great idea to mention all the medication you are taking before starting any new ones just to check how they might react with each other.

A Lack Of Exercise

A lack of activity means muscle, balance and coordination may be lost. This can not only lead to a higher likelihood of falls, but also increases the risk of a break when the fall occurs because bones become weaker with lack of exercise. Regular exercises and movement is important to keep the body strong and able to avoid falls, or avoid breakages when falls occur.

Injuries in old age can be very hard to recover from.

There is a lot that can be done to avoid injury as you get older, and aot to be done to ensure that the consequences of a fall or accident don’t have to be disastrous if they do occur.

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The Importance Of Physical Activity For Seniors

Find out why physical activity is so important as we age and find resources to increase your own levels of exercise in later life.

Exercise is important for all of us and helps to build and maintain muscle mass, keep bones strong, keep us supple and balanced, and helps to reduce the risks of chronic disease. Exercise is also known to help boost the mood and is key in keeping cognitive function at an excellent level. The brain cells you need for memory and thinking all benefit from regular exercise.

Unfortunately, as we get older muscle mass can decrease naturally which then affects balance and strength. When those things decrease, we can become less independent and mobile. Although there are live in care services and assisted living setups, ideally we can avoid the needs for that kind of help for as long as possible by remaining physically fit.

The Main Benefits Of Exercise For The Elderly

  • Reducing wound healing time, and helping to boost the immune system
  • Helping to protect against chronic illnesses and conditions like diabetes, heart disease and strokes
  • Increasing stability and balance, avoiding falls in the first place and if they do happen, strengthened bones and muscles make a bone break less likely
  • Better quality of life because independence is maintained, there is less need for assisted living and home care services, mood is boosted and deeper mental health issues like depression are soothed by being outdoors and getting around
  • Longer life expectancy for many reasons, including reduced risk of chronic illness and mental illness, a better quality of life and a zest for life

Getting Into Exercise As A Senior

It is never too late to start becoming more active as an older person. The key is trying lots of different things and finding a type of exercise that you really enjoy.

You may struggle to walk, in which case there are seated exercise classes you can do. Maybe you love the water in which case an aqua aerobics class would be ideal. It might be that you love nature and want to meet new people, in which case a walking club in your local area would be perfect.

If you’re struggling to know where to start, perhaps you could talk to friends or family about it so they can help you look for activities and clubs in your area. If you have a carer or home help, they may also be able to help you get more active. An at-home carer will certainly be able to, and want to get you moving as much as possible. Your social worker, and GP will also be happy to provide you with resources.

Age UK run some classes for older people across the country, so it could be worth taking a look to see if any are run in your area. There is also a programme called Move It Or Lose Itwhich is endorsed by the NHS, offering local classes and trainer training for those wanting to run their own exercise classes for seniors which can be a perfect complementary offering for those with care jobs in the care sector.

There are so many great reasons to exercise at any age, but especially as you get older. Stay moving, active and healthy for a happier later life.

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