Prevent falls and maintain independence

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Janet Hackert, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Harrison County, University of Missouri Extension

Each year more than one-third of adults 65 years and older fall. Of these falls, 20 to 30 percent result in injuries that reduce mobility. Men and women over 75 who have fallen are four to five times more likely to end up needing the extra assistance provided in a nursing home and experience at least temporary loss of some independence. These can be scary statistics as we get older. However, there are many things we can do to lower our risk of falling, to improve our balance and to remain independent longer.

It is rare that falls are strictly accidental. There are causes associated with falls. There are reasons why one person ends up falling and another simply stumbles. The National Institute on Aging has some suggestions for lowering the chances of falling…

For the list of helpful suggestions to prevent falls, as well as simple remedies to make your home a safer place, see the full version of this article at http://missourifamilies.org/features/agingarticles/agingfeature28.htm

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