Falls Can Kill You. Here’s How to Minimize the Risk

One of the most frequent causes of death listed for older adults is “complications from a fall,” the explanation given for the death last month at 93 of Russell Baker, the much-loved Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist and columnist for The New York Times.  Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. Every 19 minutes in this country, an older person dies from a fall.   Some falls are unavoidable. But falling is not an inevitable consequence of aging. Most age-related falls are preventable once you know why they happen and take steps to minimize the risk for yourself, relatives and friends whose age or health status renders them especially vulnerable.

There are several ways to minimize the chances of a dangerous fall, starting with regular exercise to maintain leg strength, balance, endurance and coordination that can help you “catch yourself” and avoid a fall if you should trip. Tai Chi is an excellent, low-impact way to improve balance. Also, practice standing on one foot when you brush your teeth, wash dishes or prep a recipe. You might also get Carol Clements’s new book, “Better Balance for Life,” that details a 10-week plan for improving stability.

Source/more:  New York Times