When we were younger, we made fun of those awful TV commercials where the older lady wailed: “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
These days, for many of us, it’s not so funny any more. Each year more than 25,000 older adults actually die falls and millions more are injured.
As we age, many factors increase out instability. These includes arthritis, weakening bones, inner-ear problems and diabetes.
Experts say one of the best ways to avoid falling in to recognize some of the most common danger zones:
Getting out of the tub or shower – We all now the phrase “slippery when wet” and we all know the wettest place in any home is the bathroom. If you have a tub, consider using a tub mat or applying one of the many non-slip coatings for tubs and showers that are available today. You might also want to consider installing a grab bar on the wall to help you get into and out of the tub.
Just walking down the hall – Loose rugs and slick hardwood floors can cause falls. Check the common walkways of your home for hidden hazards.
Getting out of bed – Most of us aren’t really fully awake when we first get out of bed in the morning. Some medications can increase the chances of dizziness when you first arise. Take you time. Sit up, perhaps do some stretching exercise to make sure you have a clearer head before getting your feet under you.
Wearing high-heels – While this is primarily a concern for women, there are some boots that can present challenges for either gender. Wearing high-heels or other types of footwear can increase your risk when walking in unfamiliar places.
Many us find sleeping all the way through the night more of a challenge than we did a few years ago.
Here are some of the most common cause…and cures!
- Eating Too Close to Bedtime – And eating the wrong kind of foods (especially those that are high in sugar) can have you waking up during the night. Your body is spending too much energy trying to digest and that will keep you awake
Cure: Avoid eating food within 3 hours of bedtime. Also, when you d have your evening meal, go for fruits veggies, fish and nuts.
- Medicine – Whether it’s prescription drugs o0r over-the-counter medication, many of them can interfere with a good night’s sleep. Believe it or not, over the counter sleeping pills can also interfere with sleep when they’re used habitually instead of every once and awhile.
Cure: Check with you doctor. Let him or her know the medication you take and see if they may a cause and what you might do as an alternative.
- Back Pain – Many of us have it and as we move about in our sleep, the pain can wake us up.
Cure: Try using massage, heat or even acupuncture as ways to treat back pain. There is also some research that shows drinking tart cherry juice twice a day might reduce pain and increase sleep by as much as 84 minutes a night.
- Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea – Snoring is only one of the symptoms of sleep apnea. So lack of snoring doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. The biggest symptom is being very tired during the day.
Cure: Talk to your doctor. Getting the correct diagnosis is the first step. Then he or she can recommend the remedy that may be best for you.