As we age, it’s no secret that we need to start paying more careful attention to our health. Our bodies and minds can deteriorate quickly if we aren’t vigilant in how we keep ourselves healthy and safe. If you live with an elderly person or if you yourself are elderly, then it’s important that you understand how best to stay healthy and safe in your home. The tips below should help you get started:
Home Safety Precautions
Every year, thousands of seniors are injured in the “safety” of their own homes. Some of these elderly people even live on their own, meaning there is no one around to help them when accidents occur. It is therefore extremely important that as you age, you modify the way your home is arranged to accommodate your changing needs and lifestyle.
Make sure that all hand railings, including those in the shower, along the stairs, and in any other locations where falls could occur, are sturdy and stable. Ensure that all entryways and paths of travel are clear and free of all clutter that could cause a dangerous fall. Finally, ensure that you have adequate lighting in all areas of your home, especially in those places where clutter tends to accumulate.
It will also be helpful for you to do the following:
- Place non-slip padding underneath all throw rugs.
- Discard all rugs with rolled or bent edges (which could easily cause you to trip).
- Keep stairways completely free of clutter.
- Notify the city of any sidewalks around your home that are in disrepair.
Tips for Safe Exercise
Exercise is important in all stages of life. Being elderly is no excuse for failing to exercise, and in fact, studies show that seniors who exercise regularly are much healthier and happier than those who don’t.
When exercising, be sure to start slowly, especially if you haven’t exerted yourself recently. Wear non-slip shoes and comfortable clothing, and be gentle on your body. If necessary, you can even perform light exercise from the comfort of a mattress, stable chair (without wheels), or floor mat.
Understand that moderate soreness, an increased heart rate, and mild shortness of breath are to be expected, but stop exercising immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Chest pain or pressure
- Blurred vision
- Severe shortness of breath
- Sharp pain
When to Seek Help From a Medical Professional
In many cases, it could be beneficial for you to consult a medical professional for help with staying healthy as you age. It’s always a good idea to get regular checkups with your doctor, of course, but there are other specialists that could also prove helpful. Physical therapists, for example, can help you regain strength and mobility in areas of your body that you might have thought were lost to old age. This not only helps to increase your strength and confidence; it also helps you regain your independence.
PhysioDC of Washington, D.C.
Daniel Baumstark and his professional team of physical therapists operate a boutique physical therapy office in downtown Washington, D.C. From athletes to government officials, and from ballerinas to corporate executives, PhysioDC helps people recover, strengthen and return to healthy living. Visit their site at PhysioDC.com or call them at 202-223-8500.
From the PhysioDC blog:
- Recovery after microfracture knee surgery
- Determining the best size for an office chair
- Dealing with the aging process and orthopedic injuries
Photo credits: Top © absolut / Fotolia. Bottom © Alexander Raths / Fotolia.