Prevent Falls in the Home
Each year, one in every three adults ages 65 or older experience a fall and many of those are treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries. The risk of falling increases with each decade of life. The long-term consequences of fall injuries, such as hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), can impact the health and independence of older adults. Thankfully, falls are not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, many falls can be prevented. Everyone can take actions to protect the older adults they care about.
You can play a role in preventing falls. Encourage the older adults you care about to:
- Get some exercise. Lack of exercise can lead to weak legs and this increases the chances of falling. Exercise programs like Tai Chi can increase strength and improve balance, making falls much less likely.
- Be mindful of medications. Some medicines—or combinations of medicines—can have side effects like dizziness or drowsiness. This can make falling more likely. Having a doctor or pharmacist review all medications can help reduce the chance of risky side effects and drug interactions.
- Keep their vision sharp. Poor vision can make it harder to get around safely. To help make sure they’re seeing clearly, older adults should have their eyes checked every year and wear glasses or contact lenses with the right prescription strength.
- Eliminate hazards at home. About half of all falls happen at home. A home safety check can help identify potential fall hazards that need to be removed or changed, like tripping hazards, clutter, and poor lighting.
Minimizing Your Risk
In the bathroom:
- Use a rubber bath mat for the tub and shower. Install the mat when the tub is dry.
- Install grab bars by the toilet and bath to help you sit and stand.
- Use a bath seat in the shower and a raised toilet seat, if you need them.
- Wipe up any moisture or spills right away
In the living room and bedroom:
- Reduce clutter. Get rid of loose wires, cords and other obstacles.
- Consider using a cordless phone so you will not have to rush to answer it.
- Have good lighting throughout the house and install nightlights.
- Make sure the path is clear between the bedroom and bathroom.
- Scatter mats are tripping hazards. Get rid of them or make sure they are non-slip.
- Move slowly out of your bed or chair. Getting up suddenly can make you dizzy.
In the kitchen:
- Store kitchen supplies and pots and pans in easy-to-reach locations.
- Store heavy items in lower cupboards.
- Use a stable step stool with a safety rail for reaching high places.
- Always wipe up spills immediately to prevent slipping.
- If you use floor wax, use the non-skid kind.
- Ask for help with tasks that you feel you cannot do safely on your own.
- Make sure your stairs are well lit.
- Have solid handrails on both sides of the stairway.
- Remove your reading glasses when you go up or down stairs.
- Never rush up or down your stairs. Rushing is a major cause of falls.
Around the exterior of your home:
- Keep front steps and walkways in good repair and free of snow, ice and leaves.
- Keep the front entrance well-lit.
- Put gardening implements and other tools away when you are not using them.
Use Safety Aids
Use devices that can help keep you safe and active. Wear your glasses and hearing aid. Consider using a walker or cane. If using a cane, make sure it is the correct height and has a rubber tip for safety. If you will be walking on wet roads or paths, consider using grippers on your boots. Ask your health care provider about other devices that can make your life safer and easier.
If You Fall
Try to land on your buttocks to prevent more serious injuries. Make sure you are not injured before you try to get up or let others help you. Also, do not let the fear of falling again prevent you from being active. Inactivity creates an even greater risk of falling.
Need More Info?
Dr. Gaby Edery 7439 Reseda Blvd Reseda, CA 91316 Telephone: (818) 651-3252 Email:[email protected]
Management of Hypertension
Physical exercise: For non-hypertensive individuals (to reduce the possibility of becoming hypertensive) or for hypertensive patients (to reduce their blood pressure), prescribe 30 min to 60 min of moderate-intensity dynamic exercise (such as walking, jogging, cycling or swimming) four to seven days per week in addition to the routine activities of daily living. Higher intensities of exercise are no more effective.
Weight reduction: Maintenance of a healthy body weight (body mass index 18.5 kg/m2 to 24.9 kg/m2) and waist circumference less than 102 cm for men and less than 88 cm for women) is recommended for non-hypertensive individuals to prevent hypertension , and for hypertensive patients to reduce blood pressure . All overweight hypertensive individuals should be advised to lose weight. Weight loss strategies should employ a multidisciplinary approach that includes dietary education, increased physical activity, and behavioral intervention.
Alcohol Consumption: To reduce blood pressure, alcohol consumption should be in accordance with American low-risk drinking guidelines in both normotensive and hypertensive individuals. Healthy adults should limit alcohol consumption to two drinks or less per day, and consumption should not exceed 14 standard drinks per week for men and nine standard drinks per week for women.
Dietary Recommendations: It is recommended that hypertensive patients and normotensive individuals at increased risk of developing hypertension consume a diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, dietary and soluble fibre, whole grains and protein from plant sources, and that is reduced in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Dietary approaches to Stop Hypertension (DaSH diet)
- Grains (7–8/day): Whole wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn
- Vegetables (4–5/day): Tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, beans, peas, squash, spinach
- Fruits (4–5/day): Apricots, bananas, grapes, oranges, grapefruit, melons
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy foods (2–3/day): Fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk, fat-free or low-fat yogurt, fat-free or low-fat cheese
- Meats, poultry, fish (≤2/day): only lean meats
- Nuts, seeds, dry beans (4–5/week): Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, soybeans, lentils
- Fats and oils (2–3/day): Soft margarines, low-fat mayonnaise, vegetable oil (olive, corn, canola or safflower)
- Sweets (5/week): Maple syrup, sugar, jelly, jam, hard candy, sorbet
- Sodium intake: For prevention and treatment of hypertension, a dietary sodium intake of 1500 mg (65 mmol) per day is recommended for adults 50 years of age or younger; 1300 mg (57 mmol) per day if 51 to 70 years of age; and 1200 mg (52 mmol) per day if older than 70 years of age (grade B).
Potassium, calcium and magnesium intake: Supplementation of potassium, calcium and magnesium is not recommended for the prevention or treatment of hypertension.
Stress management: In hypertensive patients in whom stress may be contributing to blood pressure elevation, stress management should be considered as an intervention. Individualized cognitive behavioral interventions are more likely to be effective when relaxation techniques are employed.
Headaches & Chiropractic
If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea.
What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative.
Research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.
A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.
Also, a 1995 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches and that those who ceased chiropractic treatment after four weeks experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in contrast with those patients who received a commonly prescribed medication.
Headaches have many causes, or “triggers.” These may include foods, environmental stimuli (noises, lights, stress, etc.) and/or behaviors (insomnia, excessive exercise, blood sugar changes, etc.). About 5 percent of all headaches are warning signals caused by physical problems.
Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. These types of headaches are not caused by disease. The headache itself is the primary concern.
The greatest majority of primary headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck.
Today, Americans engage in more sedentary activities than they used to, and more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp, causing your head to ache.
What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic Do?
- Perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate the stress on your system
- Provide nutritional advice/recommend a change in diet
- Offer advice on posture, ergonomics (work postures), exercises and relaxation techniques. This advice should help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.