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Healthy ageing tips to reduce the risk of a fall

Article by Karen Smith

Bio: Karen Smith has been working for MePACs as the Sales and Marketing Manager for the last two years and has over 20 years experience in health, technology, digital and finance industries.

Things become harder as we get older. Our bones start to creak, we get tired easily and we can even start to feel unsafe in our own home. In Australia, about 100,000 people aged 65 and older were hospitalised due to a fall in 2012-13 and 72 per cent of hospitalised fall cases occurred in either the home or a residential aged care facility. Here are our top tips to reducing the risk of a fall:

Stay healthy

There are many things you can do to stay on top of your health as you get older:

· Talk to your doctor about your diet – people tend to eat less as they get older but it’s important you’re still getting the same amount of nutrients.

· Get regular check-ups – make sure you’re taking the right medications to manage any conditions you may have.

· Get your eyes tested annually.

· Drink lots of water.

Stay active

It’s important to keep your muscles strong and joints flexible to prevent bad falls and the best way to do that is to exercise. Here are some ideas:

· Join an exercise group – have a look online at what groups are near your local area. Perhaps you could join a walking group or a tai chi group who meet in the park every morning.

· Go for a 30 minute walk every day – even a short walk once a day is great for both your body and your mind.

· Join a gym – some gyms have programs tailored for older people.

· Home exercise – if you’re not into group exercise, find some fitness videos online that you can do at home. There’s plenty on YouTube which are free so you don’t have to fork out any money.

Keep your mind alive

There are plenty of easy ways you can keep your brain stimulated:

· Read a book – go to a library or bookstore and pick out a new book. If you’re unable to leave the house you can order them online or read e-books.

· Play a strategy game – chess or go are great games for brain stimulation and social too. If you don’t have much interaction with others, there are plenty of people online you can play against.

· Do a crossword or Sudoku – you can pick up a book of them from your local newsagency. If you’re unable to write properly you could also download a crossword app on your phone.

· Read the newspaper – learn more about what’s happening in your local area and also internationally. Good conversation starter too. There are plenty of newspaper apps available if holding a newspaper is too burdensome.

Stay social

Even if you live alone, this shouldn’t deter you from socialising and meeting people as interacting with others decreases feelings of depression. Here are some ideas:

· Join a community group – search online for what community groups there are around you.

· Volunteer – helping others is a great way to feel good about yourself. See if any charity shops are looking for an extra pair of hands.

· Connect with old friends – with the Internet it’s easier than ever to find people and re-connect. Social media is a great way to find people but if you don’t use it even an Internet search could help you locate old school or university friends.

Get a personal alarm

A personal alarm is a device worn around the neck or wrist and is used in case of an emergency. At the press of a button, you can be directed to a monitoring centre where someone will speak to you and access what level of help you need. It’s available 24 hours a day and is great for people living alone. This gives the wearer more freedom to live by themselves as well as peace of mind for their family members. There are many different monitoring devices available online.


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