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Thursday

 

Learning how to prevent falls can add years




















Mary Jane Anderson, 64, of Holly Hill, has multiple sclerosis, but she does not let her age or condition define her.

“I’m a young 64. I might have MS, but MS does not have me,” Anderson said.

Because she has been having problems with her balance, Anderson checked out options for a safer bath during an expo and health fair at Premier Care in Bathing in South Daytona on the first day of fall this year, Sept. 23. The date has become known nationally as Falls Prevention Awareness Day.

Anderson checked out a shower with a seat, an automated chair that descends into a tub and relaxing water jets for hydrotherapy.

“I keep thinking, ‘How can I make my home more handicap accessible?’” Anderson said. “It’s just one of those things I’m always thinking, ‘What can I do next?’ ”

It is a good question since fall prevention encompasses a lot of factors, including the practical, physical, psychological and social.

“There are so many risks,” said Bev Johnson, executive vice president for the Volusia Flagler Family YMCA. “We don’t realize a throw rug can be a major tripping hazard. The smallest things around our environment can exacerbate our risk for falling.

“Some other things that cause falls are eye glasses, progressive lenses that distort perception,” she added. “That can be a big problem. Medications (too). People don’t realize our medications can knock our balance off a bit.”

For adults 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Medical costs associated with falls were estimated at $30 billion in 2012.


Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by NEWSJOURNALONLINE
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