Back To Better: Helping Seniors Recover From Physical Injury
Accidents happen to everyone, but as we get older, accidents become more and more dangerous. Falls are the leading cause of injuries in seniors, with hip fractures and life-threatening head injuries representing two of the most serious consequences. Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid injury following a fall, close calls are still scary and can prevent seniors from trying activities in the future.
Mobility is a major part of maintaining independence, so the confidence to continue living your life is necessary for both physical and mental health. Recovery and rehabilitation sure can feel like a long process, but it will help you regain that independence and also help prevent future injuries. Since you can’t always avoid accidents, it’s important to be proactive and put yourself in the best position to withstand serious injury and get better faster.
If you’ve experienced a physical injury and are wondering what’s next, here are some options to assist along your road to recovery.
Adapt Through Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is often the first step on your road to recovery, and for good reason too! It’s a wonderful way to increase flexibility, strength and coordination. Physical therapy is also an opportunity to learn about any new physical limitations and adapt accordingly. Attempting to simply “push through” can aggravate existing injuries or cause new ones.
Aging doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t do what you want. You just might have to do it differently because joints don’t move like they used to. Physical therapy will help you rebuild strength and improve range of motion. It can also help with broader issues, like alleviating the symptoms of arthritis and osteoporosis.
Win with Fitness
You probably hear it all the time, but fitness and nutrition really do make a big difference. Especially while recovering from an injury. Regular exercise can also be a preventative measure to avoid future injuries. The problem is that it becomes more and more difficult to exercise as we get older. That’s why many older adults are turning to aquatic exercise for a low-impact fitness alternative that accommodates a variety of physical limitations. Senior living communities with pools are a great resource for convenient – and fun! – fitness, especially if you’re working your way back after an injury.
How to Prevent Future Falls
Unfortunately, once you’ve experienced a fall-related injury, you’re at a higher risk for re-injury in the following years. In addition to fitness setbacks, there are other factors that contribute to falls and aren’t addressed by physical therapy or exercise. Medications can cause dizziness and loss of balance, so it’s important to be aware of side-effects. Declining eyesight is another common factor in falls.
Also, it’s absolutely necessary to consult a doctor anytime you fall. Even if you think it’s no big deal. Try to write down the details of the fall, or when you’ve nearly fallen, so that you and your doctor can evaluate the circumstances and react accordingly.
Are you or a loved one exploring senior and assisted living communities? Melrose Meadows is a certified assisted and independent living community in Iowa City, Iowa. We provide an independent, secure lifestyle for our residents in a vibrant, all-inclusive setting. Schedule a tour today to see if Melrose Meadows is a good fit for your future.