Falls can have very serious consequences as we age. Each year, more than 25 percent of adults 65 or older have a fall, and 3 million are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The risk of falling in older adults is usually related to combination of factors, including:
• Balance and/or walking problems. Balance can be affected by vision changes, vestibular problems and altered sensation in the feet.
• The use of multiple medications. Studies indicate that when individuals take five or more medicines, the risk of falls increases.
• Home hazards (including dim lighting and trip hazards)
• Positional low blood pressure (such as orthostatic hypotension when blood pressure drops upon standing).
• Feet and footwear issues Falls often occur in the bathroom when sitting or standing from the toilet or shower, or at night in a dark bedroom when getting up quickly and tripping on the way to the bathroom.
While it’s not possible to completely prevent a fall, exercises that focus on balance and strength training can reduce the risk of falling.
For older adults, activities such as squatting, standing up from a chair and walking may be difficult or cause them to feel unsteady, which increases their risk of falling. Always talk to your doctor or physical therapist first before starting new exercises, especially if you have weak balance.
The Wolf Point Senior Center is currently offering a free video-led exercise group on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays at 10 a.m. Monday is stretching, Wednesday is strength training (weights optional), and Friday is exercises for balance, leg strength, upper body, coordination, and posture. New people are always welcome.
If you have any questions, call Alyssa or Julie at 406653-6221 or stop down at Roosevelt County Aging Services, 124 Custer St. in Wolf Point.