Accidents are common amongst the elderly because of the physical and mental limitations that mount up as life progresses. Our responses become increasingly sluggish, the body loses its acute sense of balance, we are not as agile as we once were, our eyesight deteriorates, our judgement of sPACE and distance is compromised, and our bones weaken and become more brittle. All these create potentially hazardous scenarios out of previously routine, carefree activities. Moreover, while babies bounce, adults definitely do not – stumbles and falls have increasingly life-threatening consequences as we grow old,
Common places for age-related accidents are bathrooms, stairs, ladders, patios and anywhere where clutter has been left. Common activities for age related accidents are driving, diy and lifting. Apart from our failing senses, medication may bring on dizziness or drowsiness. Behind the wheel of a car this can be lethal not only for the driver but for other road users too.
There is no reason to live in a cocoon for fear any activity or outing will result in catastrophe; life is inherently risky and we need to accept that. On the other hand there is no need to take unnecessary risks and a little forward planning can save you from a premature end that robs you of another ten or twenty healthy enjoyable years – enough perhaps to see your grandchildren grow up or your great grandchildren indeed, if some of the measures below seem a bit nannyish, remember you are planning for a time in the future, hopefully the very distant future, when you will be less able, energetic and alert than now. You may be very grateful then for the foresight you had in your halcyon days. Put another way, don’t let pride come before a fall.
• Regular physical checkups are imperative after the age of 40. If detected in their nascent stage, common age-related ailments can frequently be managed better and, in most cases, further deterioration can be arrested.
• Poor eyesight can easily lead to accidents. Have your eyes tested once a year and don’t stint on proper prescription glasses. Consider other options such as laser surgery to improve your eyesight.
• Regular exercise is the key to maintaining every aspect of your body and metabolism in a healthy state. Simple stretches can help you remain fit, while brisk walks are a great way to increase your stamina and physical balance. However, it is important to remember that if you’re over 65 any new exercise regime or sport should be taken up only after consulting your physician. Contact sports should obviously be avoided.