The Connections Bridgewater Somerville Edition Dec 2019-Jan 2020

PAGE 61 Spotlight on Seniors Stair lifts • Auto lifts • Ramps Vertical platform lifts • Patient lifts • Pool lifts Commercial • Residential • Purchase or Rent Call us to set up a FREE evaluation or stop by our showroom to find the mobility solution that’s right for you. SALES • INSTALLATION • SERVICE RENTAL PROGRAMS AVAILABLE 973-995-1900 1065-A Raritan Rd • Clark,NJ 07066 101MOBILITY.COM/CENTRALNEWJERSEY Imagine life. Unrestricted. 101 Mobility provides mobility & accessibility solutions, so you can focus on what’s important. A recent article in the Star- Ledger spoke of the increased number of reported falls by sen- iors, and it made me more aware than ever that day-to-day activi- ties can become very dangerous as we age. Aside from the reality that stairs have serious harmful potential, just moving in the wrong way can have devastating consequences. The above-referenced article spoke of fall prevention, and I am certainly grateful for the reminder that being cautious is of primary concern. Going up on ladders or even step stools, walk- ing too quickly on uneven pave- ment, carpets with pulls or defects, and rugs that can lift or catch a foot are all obvious dan- gers. Additionally, some medica- tions also make seniors prone to loss of equilibrium, drowsiness and vision problems. Since we cannot watch our parents 100% of the time, and even aides hired to do so, cannot accomplish that feat, we need to work on fall prevention continu- ously. It is never too early to prac- tice balance with plenty of sup- port, and a chair at the ready. Muscle strength training is very important to help anchor unsteady movements, as well as catch oneself as they are falling. Ironically, thinner, more waiflike seniors frequently lack the stami- na to recover from a fall, as well as tend to have less “padding” to prevent fractures. Having a diet rich in protein and beneficial car- bohydrates can bolster our par- ents if a fall is in their future. Traumatic brain injuries and hip fractures from falls lead to steep health declines. They seem to cause a tripling of deaths in the past few years, rising to more than 25,000 deaths yearly, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. This is, of course, due to older people living longer, living longer independently, and living with chronic conditions. Prevention, prevention, and prevention seems to be the key as our parents live longer. Their bod- ies need to move, but using a walking support device is very important. Insisting it be used is something we can do, and should do for their own good, as well as for the benefit of others. This does not diminish their independ- ence, it actually allows them to be involved in activities, socialize, and stay safe. None of us wants to see our parent fall. If necessary, we have to take steps our parents don't want us to. Because sadly, we cannot put a band aid on their cuts or scrapes and make it all better, as they did for us! SENIORS NEED HELP TO AVOID FALLS By: Ellyn Mantell