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Senior alert: How to avoid a fall

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Physicians and health care workers know that one of the most dangerous and most preventable health events a senior can face is a fall.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one-third of adults 65 and over will experience a fall each year. And the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports falls as the number one cause of emergency room visits among seniors.

The good news is that most falls can be prevented. Here are some tips to help prevent a devastating fall:

o Keep fit. Maintaining a strong body improves strength and helps you to keep your balance.

o Check your home for trip hazards, such as cords and rugs and tape them down or otherwise secure them.

o Make sure your home has adequate lighting inside and out so you can see where you are stepping.

o Tell your doctor you are concerned about falling and ask him to review your medications for side effects such as dizziness.

o See an ophthalmologist once a year to have your eyes checked.

o Before getting out of bed, pause for a moment to become more fully awake and take your time standing up.

o When outside, watch for ice or anything else that can make steps and walkways slippery.

Gaining strength and balance through physical fitness combined with these simple precautions can keep you upright and healthy for years to come.


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