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Alongside the changing of the seasons and the first chill of autumn comes an increased risk of falling and becoming ill. The following fall safety and general wellness tips are essential for all older adults, including those in independent living who may already maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
Maintaining an active lifestyle is key to fall prevention. Gentle cardio activities such as walking, pilates, and even dancing are easy and fun ways to stay active while also improving balance and strength.
Seniors living independently in Albert can stay active by enjoying beautiful outdoor adventures across Iowa’s rolling landscape such as exploring multiple state parks, hiking trails, and waterfalls.
The shoes you wear not only affect your comfort but your safety as well, especially as we approach the winter season. Choose comfortable, supportive shoes with hard, non-slip soles.
Ensure they fit well to avoid tripping. Safe shoes will have a supported heel collar that grips your heel firmly. Choosing shoes with Velcro, rather than shoelaces, can also prevent accidental trips.
When it comes to winter, invest in warm, non-slip boots to navigate snowy and icy paths safely.
Perform a thorough safety check of your home. Make sure that walkways are well-lit and rugs are secure. Handrails along staircases can provide additional support.
Bathrooms require special attention to detail as slippery surfaces greatly increase the risk of falling. Install grab bars in the shower and near the toilet for added stability. Non-slip bath mats can help prevent accidents getting in and out of the bath or shower.
For seniors interested in independent living in Albert, be sure to prepare for snowy (and slippery) sidewalks during the winter. Make sure major pathways are treated appropriately in the cold seasons to prevent accidents and avoid injuries.
Maintain good eye health by scheduling regular checkups with your eye doctor. Clear vision is essential for recognizing potential hazards, especially in dimly lit areas during the fall and winter months.
Staying up to date on routine checkups – of all kinds, but especially vision-related – can also identify concerns early on and prevent conditions from worsening.
Seniors should keep an updated list of medications and consult their healthcare provider regarding any potential interactions or side effects. Avoid medications that may cause dizziness or drowsiness during slippery fall conditions.
If you are prescribed multiple medications, be sure to also discuss with your provider how many are safe to be taking at once. Research shows that taking five or more medicationssimultaneously can increase the risk of falling.
Strengthening your balance and flexibility can reduce the risk of falls, and the exercises are easy enough to be done at home.Sit and stand from a chair is one simple way to build leg strength, while alternating standing on one leg improves balance.
In addition to an active lifestyle, maintaining a healthy diet can support aging in a number of ways. Eating a variety of foods from each food group, with little to no added sugars or saturated fats, can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and other diseases.
Incorporate foods rich in calcium and vitamin D into your diet to support bone health. To maintain muscle, get enough protein by adding seafood, dairy, beans, or lentils to your meals. Make sure to also stay hydrated with plenty of water!
Seniors looking for independent living in Albert, Iowa have a variety of nearby farms and farmers’ markets offering fresh options to choose from. Getting ingredients from local growers boosts your health as well as supports small businesses in your area!
Don't forget to stay up-to-date with flu and pneumonia vaccines. These vaccinations can protect you during the fall and winter months when illnesses are more prevalent. Talk to your healthcare provider about any additional immunizations recommended for you.
The fall and winter seasons can bring about a change in mood in anybody, regardless of age or health status. Feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can be common for seniors in independent and assisted living communities, can become exacerbated and contribute to mental health concerns. Look out for warning signs of mental health concernsand talk to a loved one or care provider about any difficult feelings you may be having.
Lastly, create an emergency plan with your family or friends. Whether in the case of a fall, an illness, a sudden change in mood, or any other emergency concerns, ensure your loved ones know how to reach you and have a list of contacts readily available. Have a plan in place for how to stay connected, warning signs or safety precautions to be aware of, and who to contact regarding your physical and mental health care.
The safety and well-being of seniors are of paramount importance. By following these ten fall safety and wellness tips, you can enjoy the beauty of autumn while reducing the risk of falls and staying physically and mentally healthy. Stay safe and enjoy the vibrant fall season!
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