The Baby Boomer generation currently straddles the traditional retirement age of 65, with older members in the 70s and the youngest approaching 60. As Boomers continue to age, they can become increasingly susceptible to age-related health risks, including falling.
According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults every year. Falls are also largely preventable, although many misnomers exist.
Let us share with you seven myths about falls every Baby Boomer should know right here.
1. Falling is normal when you get older. In short, no it’s not. Unfortunately, falls are common with older adults but there are many ways to avoid them, such as strengthening your body through regular exercise and managing your overall health.
2. I can avoid falling if I stay home. More than half of all documented falls take place in the comfort of a senior adult’s home. Removing clutter, rearranging furniture and installing bright lighting are just several ways to increase home safety.
3. If I limit my activity, I won’t fall. Avoiding activity will logically limit falling risks, but on balance it’s a net loss strategy. Limiting activities can reduce muscle strength and deprive one of satisfying important emotional and social needs.
4. Talking about it will only cause problems. Quite the opposite. Talking about falling with family members and health care providers will provide solutions.
5. Using a walker or cane will make me dependent. Aging Baby Boomers are used to taking care of themselves. Fair enough. However, it’s important to recognize that walking aids are a smart way of increasing independence, not dependence.
6. Muscle strength and flexibility can’t be regained. It’s true that muscle is lost with age, but strength and flexibility can be partially regained through exercise and activity. The National Council on Aging highlights plenty of programs to choose from.
7. Medications have nothing to do with falling. Prescription medications affect different people in different ways, and certain side effects, such as dizziness and drowsiness, can dramatically increase the likelihood of falling.
The safety of your loved ones is important to us, and we know that there may come a time when you require additional planning to keep yourself and your loved ones protected. If you are ready to discuss your planning needs, do not wait to contact our office.