Your Fear of Falling Increases Your Risk of Falling. It’s a vicious circle. First you fall and fracture a wrist, or even worse, your hip. Once you heal you become hesitant. You don’t want to fall again so you start reducing your activity. You move around less and you don’t go out as much. Sadly, you are making things worse.
The more we avoid simple day-to-day activities such as walking, doing housework or gardening the more our muscles atrophy. This is called ‘disuse atrophy.’
Muscle atrophy is a serious health concern and it is a lifestyle choice we have control over. We can do something to prevent it. In fact, if you want to be a ‘Healthy Active Senior’, you must fight muscle atrophy!
By allowing our muscles to deteriorate, we set ourselves up for an increased risk of falling as a result of a reduced sense of balance and strength.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Seniors have a 1 in 3 chance of experiencing a fall each year.
- Of those who fall, 20% – 30 % will suffer moderate to severe injuries, making it hard for them to continue to live independently.
- By 2020, the annual direct and indirect cost of fall injuries in the US is expected to reach $67.7 billion.
Falls in older adults are a leading cause of injuries and hospitalizations and account for more than half of all injuries among Canadians 65 years and over. What often follows is a decreased quality of life and decreased independence.
In fact, Seniors’ falls are responsible for 40%of the admissions to long term care facilities.
A Fall Can Lead to a Loss of Independence
A loss of independence is an outcome no one would willingly choose. Especially since falls can be prevented.
One way to help prevent falls is to participate in physical activities, especially strength,
flexibility and balance training. Baby Boomers and Seniors who exercise regularly have a lower risk of falling. And if they do fall, chances are they will recover more quickly.
Your muscles do not have to waste away as a consequence of getting older.
It does not matter if you are active and mobile or use or a walker or wheelchair, you can still benefit from exercise. Don’t let your muscles atrophy. I am a busy grandmother, mother, wife and daughter and I have to pay attention to my own words. We can all afford to get greater strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance – our future depends on it.
Commit to being a Healthy Active Senior. Keep moving and keep your independence.