Blog provided by JaNae Gregg, University of Northern Colorado Student and Covell Care Intern.
Top 5 Ways to Prevent Falls
Aging into later life can bring many concerns, one of the biggest concerns with aging is falling. The CDC estimates that 1 in 3 seniors will fall at least once a year. One of the biggest predictors of having a fall is already having a previous fall. This can be worrisome not only for the person involved, but also the families. To prevent something as serious as a fall from happening the first time, it is important to review 5 steps that have been proven to help prevent falls.
One of the first steps in preventing a fall is reviewing medications, certain medications have been linked to increasing falls in seniors. Such medications include: sedatives and tranquilizers, antipsychotics, nighttime drugs, over-the-counter medication, medications that cause drowsiness. If these medications are taken, it is important to review them with a doctor to assess the amount of risk of falling involved.
Checking blood pressure while sitting and standing is the second important step in fall prevention. A substantial drop in blood pressure when a person stands up or changes position is known as postural. Drops in blood pressure is common for older adults, especially for those who are taking medicine to lower blood pressure. Blood pressure treatment has in fact been linked to some of the most serious falls in older adults.
The third step in preventing a fall involves a balance evaluation. If you or someone who know has noticed difficulty with walking or standing should seek an evaluation by a doctor. These evaluations are covered by Medicare and can be very useful in preventing a fall from occuring. Strength and balance exercises may be recommended to insure this. Along with these exercises, taking a daily walk can be very helpful in improving balance.
A home safety assessment may be one of the most important parts to preventing a fall. A set up of a home and placement of furniture and other household items can easily set a person up for a bad fall. Having a home healthcare agency to have an Occupational Therapist come and evaluate the home for possible falls is an easy way to prevent something serious from happening.
The final step in fall prevent consists of getting enough Vitamin D. Taking 1,000 IU per day will help insure that a person is getting the recommended amount of Vitamin D. A deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to fragile bones and may cause a fall.
Skin is the body’s largest organ and skin cancer is the most diagnosed form of cancer in the United States. During UV Safety Month we want to remind Coloradans on some sun damage facts and tips. Please share this with you network, regardless of the state they live in. Skin cancer can happen anywhere!
- Exposure to the sun can cause heat exhaustion, dehydration, sunburn, skin cancer and wrinkles.
- Wear proper clothing when possible, i.e. long-sleeved shirts, pants.
- Remember to protect your head and eyes by wearing hats and sunglasses.
- Never stare at the sun!
- Stay in the shade when possible.
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
- Wear SPF 30 sunscreen and apply multiple times per day (at least every 2 hours).
- Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your ears, back of neck, back of knees and under nose & chin.
- Reflective surfaces such as windows, water and snow can increase your chances of sunburn.
- UV rays are strongest between 10AM and 4pm. So try to avoid those times.
- Keep track of UV intensity scales so you know how to plan your day.
Stay safe and enjoy your summer!
Blog provided by JaNae Gregg, University of Northern Colorado Student and Covell Care Intern.
Keeping our bodies filled with energy and balance are two important keys to a healthy lifestyle. Acupuncture is a healthy and natural way to cure physical or mental ailments. This practice first began more 2,500 years ago in China and since has been used to diagnose, treat, and improve general health. The main effectiveness of acupuncture comes from modifying the flow of energy in the body.
When acupuncture is performed, the patients can either lay face up or face down (depending on which points need to be used). Then a single use disposable needle is inserted. When the needle is inserted it can cause a sting or tingling sensation at first, then the needle remains there for five to thirty minutes. While the needle remains in place the patient may feel a dull ache, but the treatment is relatively painless. By placing the needles into certain points it brings the energy flow back into proper balance.
The best part of acupuncture is that it is all natural! There are little to none side effects, it can be combined with other treatments, it can control various types of pain, and helps patients stay off medication. Acute problems can be cured from eight to twelve sessions, while chronic may take one to two sessions a month for several months.
There are many misconceptions about natural remedies, but medications, surgeries, or other treatments haven’t worked for you, then give acupuncture a chance. It has been known to not only cure illnesses, but to also prevent future medical problems from arising. Using acupuncture can be the start of a new way to healthier and natural lifestyle.
The Benefits of Acupuncture
- Muscle spasms and pain
- Chronic back problems and pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Neck pain
- Knee pain
- Digestive problems
- Mood and depression
- Sleep problems
- High and low blood pressure
- Reduce risk of stroke
- Facial pain
- Vascular dementia
Blog written by Kiara Tucker, University of Northern Colorado Student and past Covell Care Intern.
Preventative care is extremely important throughout your lifetime, but especially as you age. The aging process takes a toll on your body and makes everyday tasks become increasingly difficult. With a proactive approach you can lessen this impact by the use of physical therapy. Physical therapy will reduce the risk for injury by increasing your flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. With increased abilities, you can regain your independence and maintain a higher quality of life. Another added benefit from physical therapy is you can stay away from more medication and reduce your pain naturally. The most common argument to physical therapy is the cost, but when you look at all of the costs for avoiding physical therapy, you can see that it is one of the more cost-effective options. If you wait until your pain is too bad, you will most likely not be able to fix it without undergoing surgery. The cost of surgery and all the medication that comes with it is typically far more than you would spend on physical therapy. By waiting until surgery is necessary, your quality of life diminishes daily. Even after surgery, there can be a long recovery period. This is all in hopes that the surgery will be successful. The best option is to start physical therapy sooner rather than later when you feel your physical abilities are being limited.
Give Covell Care a call today to ask more about physical therapy and the benefits. (970) 204-4331
Blog written by JaNae Gregg, University of Northern Colorado student and Covell Care Intern.
Summer is right around the corner! And with that being said.. So is the summer heat. Summer is a wonderful time for to go for hikes, gardening, cookouts, and many other wonderful adventures that happen outside. Unfortunately, enjoying these activities also means bracing the sometimes-unbearable heat that can occur. That is why it is important to know the do’s and don’ts for a safe and healthy summer.
- Layer your clothing. Yes, summer is hot, but many buildings have the AC on full blast. By layering your clothing, you can stay cool outside, but warm inside.
- DRINK UP. One of the important things to do during the summer is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids but try avoiding caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic and can deplete our bodies of the liquid that we need.
- Cool off your kitchen. Heating up the oven or stove can increase the temperature in your home. Instead of cooking a meal that requires the oven substitute a fresh salad, sandwich, or smoothie for a meal.
- Wear eye protection. Too much sun exposure can irritate and cause damage to your eyes. Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes preserve your vision.
- Keep track of the time. Enjoy your outdoor activities, but don’t overdo your time in the sun. If you enjoy exercising outside, be sure to do it in the early morning or in the evening when the sun isn’t at its peak.
- Monitor the air conditioning. Our bodies naturally cool down at night to help us sleep. Instead of using the air conditioner at night, try opening the windows or using a fan. This way you stay cool, but not too cold where it could disrupt your sleep.
- Sunscreen. While outside be sure to apply sunscreen to any exposed skin. Also, be sure to toss out last summer’s sunscreen and purchase a new bottle. The shelf life of sunscreen is only a yearlong and expired sunscreen won’t provide the protection that is needed.
- Add Chia to your diet. Chia seeds help absorb the water in your gut slowly and release it throughout the day. This will help ensure that you’re getting the most from the water that your drinking.
Please use these guidelines to ensure a healthy and fun summer!