We are all at risk of falling, but the possibility is heightened for the elderly. Thousands of older people fall every year, and statistics say 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 will fall.
Older adults fear falling, even if they haven’t yet done so. They will avoid activities, such as walking, shopping, and visiting friends. Should this be you, try and overcome the fear. Staying active is one way you can ensure your body remains at optimum health, reducing the chances of falling. In this article, we will help you get some perspective, and consider the causes and preventions of falling.
Causes of falling
The following are some of the causes of falling.
- The effects of aging. Your eyesight and hearing will begin to diminish, and your reflexes won’t be as sharp as they used to be.
2. Certain medical problems can affect your balance. These include thyroid problems, heart disease, and diabetes.
3. Certain medications have side effects, such as dizziness, nausea, and tiredness, all of which can affect your balance.
4. Safety hazards in the home, including loose floorboards, items on the floor, and slippery surfaces.
5. Drop in blood pressure when you stand after sitting for awhile or getting out of a hot bath.
6. Muscle weakness in the legs and feet.
In most cases, falls can be prevented by understanding the causes above. These are some of the steps you need to follow to avoid the risk of falling.
1. Exercise as much as you are able. Regular exercise can strengthen your muscles and make you more stable on your feet.
2. Eat a healthy diet to improve your energy levels and your build your bone mass.
3. Get your eyes and ears tested. Slight changes in your sight and hearing can cause you to fall, so go for regular check-ups.
4. Read the side effects on medication packages and speak to your pharmacist or doctor if they make you dizzy and unwell.
5. Purchase mobility equipment from a specialist source, such as the Select Aged Care Store. Especially when you are walking on uneven ground, a cane or a walking frame can help.
6. Get plenty of sleep. The more tired you are, the more likely you are to have an accident.
7. Take it easy. As you get older your mobility will suffer, so pace yourself when you are on your feet and try not to rush around as if you were 20 years younger.
After a fall
Should you fall, you need to stay as calm as possible. The use of a response system can help if you are unable to get to your feet and you need emergency assistance. Alternatively, have a mobile phone on you at all times to enable you to call for help. Then seek the advice of a doctor. There may have been underlying reasons for the fall, and an X-ray will determine any damage to your bones.
We hope our advice helped, but we aren’t medical professionals. Always get a qualified opinion from a doctor. Take care.
Animal studies suggest that high-fat diet during pregnancy has the potential to alter a baby’s developing brain and increase its chances of obesity later in life.
The team at Yale School of Medicine showed diet could change the structure of mice brains.
They argue this could explain why the children of obese parents are more likely to become grossly overweight.
Animal studies suggest that high-fat diet during pregnancy has the potential to alter a baby’s developing brain and increase its chances of obesity later in life
Experts said the study had merit, but brain changes in humans were unproven.
Obesity can run in families and shared eating habits are a major factor.
However, there is evidence that diet during pregnancy can also influence a child’s future waistline, such as through changes to DNA.
The latest foray into the field, published in the journal Cell, shows the structure of the brain itself may be changed.
The experiments on mice showed that mothers on a high-fat diet had pups with an altered hypothalamus, a part of the brain important for regulating metabolism.
These mouse pups were more likely to become overweight and develop type 2 diabetes than the pups of mothers given a normal diet.
Prof. Tamas Horvath, from Yale, says a healthy diet during pregnancy may help to break the cycle of obese parents having obese children.
According to 56-year-old model Yasmina Rossi, the secret of looking good over 50 is cheaper – and easier – than any of us realized.
All that’s needed, says the Miami-based M&S campaign star, is a healthy diet, minimal exercise and plenty of rapeseed oil for your hair and skin.
“There is no big secret,” Yasmina Rossi told the Sunday Times’ Style magazine.
“All I have ever done is to eat organic food – long before it became trendy.
“I take oil and use it on my skin: I put rapeseed oil on my hair. I scrub my skin once a week with olive oil and fine sugar. I eat an avocado a day and good organic meat and fish.”
The grey-haired French-born model is currently starring in the M&S Christmas ad campaign and has previously worked for YSL, Hermes, Jil Sander and Macy’s.
According to 56-year-old model Yasmina Rossi, the secret of looking good over 50 is cheaper and easier than any of us realized
Unusually, Yasmina Rossi began modelling in her late twenties – the age at which most models retire – after 10 years as a stay-at-home mother.
A mother of two with two grandchildren, Yasmina Rossi’s career took off at the age of 45, when she relocated to New York.
There, Yasmina Rossi starred in ad campaigns for Macy’s, AT&T and Mastercard, before landing the M&S job back in Europe.
Despite working in a looks and youth obsessed industry, Yasimina Rossi says she’s happier with her looks now than she was in her twenties.
“I like the way I look now more than how I looked 20 years ago,” she revealed.
“My body is nicer and I feel happier than when I was 20.”
Holding back the years, Yasmina Rossi continued, is easy when you eat a good diet and don’t overdo the exercise.
“This is very important. And don’t take medicine if possible. Go with nature instead of fighting it – this is the rule for everything.”
Being overweight is not just bad for your waistline but for your brain too, say researchers who have linked obesity to declining mental performance.
Experts are not sure why this might be, but say metabolic changes such as high blood sugar and raised cholesterol are likely to be involved.
Obesity has already been tipped as a risk factor for dementia.
The work, published in Neurology, tracked the health of more than 6,000 British people over a decade.
The participants, who were aged between 35 and 55, took tests on memory and other cognitive skills three times over a 10-year period.
People who were both obese and who had unhealthy metabolic changes showed a much faster decline on their cognitive test scores compared to others in the study.
Being overweight is not just bad for your waistline but for your brain too
The experts stress that they only looked at cognitive function, not dementia.
The boundary between normal ageing, mild cognitive impairment and dementia is blurred – not all impairment leads to dementia.
All of the study participants came from one group of civil service workers, which may mean the findings may not apply more generally to other populations.
They said: “More research is needed to look at the effects of genetic factors and also to take into account how long people have been obese and how long they have had these metabolic risk factors and also to look at cognitive test scores spanning adulthood to give us a better understanding of the link between obesity and cognitive function, such as thinking, reasoning and memory.”
Shirley Cramer of the Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “We do not yet know why obesity and metabolic abnormality are linked to poorer brain performance, but with obesity levels on the rise, it will be important to delve a little deeper into this association.
“While the study itself focuses on cognitive decline, previous research suggests that a healthy diet, regular exercise, not smoking and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol in midlife can also help stave off dementia. With dementia figures spiralling towards a million, the findings suggest we should be conscious of our general health throughout life.”
John Nicholson’s book “The Meat Fix. How a lifetime of healthy eating nearly killed me!”presents author’ story of how eating meat again, after twenty-six vegetarian years, changed his life powerfully for the better, and of his quest to understand why the supposedly healthy diet he had existed on was actually damaging him.
The reformed vegan John Nicholson has gorged on all the foods his granny enjoyed… and has never felt better.
“As the kitchen filled with the smell of caramelized meat, my mouth watered in anticipation of the coming feast: a thick cut of tender steak, fried in butter and olive oil.
This was not a regular treat. In fact, for the previous 26 years I’d been a vegan, eschewing not just meat but all animal products.
My diet was an extreme version of the NHS Eat Well regime, which recommends lots of starchy foods and smaller quantities of saturated fats, cholesterol, sugar and red meat.
According to government advice, I was doing everything right – and yet my health had never been worse. My weight had crept up over the years, until in 2008 I was 14½ stone – which is a lot of blubber for someone who is 5ft 10in – and was classified as clinically obese.
I waddled around, sweating and short of breath, battling extremely high cholesterol and suffering from chronic indigestion. I was always tired and needed to take naps every afternoon. I had constant headaches and swallowed paracetamol and sucked Rennies like they were sweets.
Worst of all, I had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which left me feeling as if I had lead weights in my gut. My belly was bloated and distended after every meal. I was, to use a technical term, knackered.”
John Nicholson’s book presents the story of how eating meat again, after twenty-six vegetarian years, changed his life powerfully for the better
“But that was about to change. In 2010, I decided to give up my supposedly healthy lifestyle and embrace good old-fashioned meat.
From that day on, I ate red meat four or five days a week. I gobbled the fat on chops, chicken skin and pork crackling. I feasted on everything we’re told to avoid. The effects were instant.
Twenty-four hours after eating meat again, all my IBS symptoms had gone. As the weeks and months passed, every aspect of my health improved dramatically. I became leaner, shedding body fat and becoming stronger and fitter. My headaches went away, never to return. Even my libido increased.
It felt like being young again, like coming back to life. But though I felt energized, I was also furious.
Furious with myself for sticking to the “healthy” eating advice, which was actually far from a sensible diet. But also furious with the so-called experts who have been peddling this low-fat, high-carbohydrate claptrap for so long that no one thinks to question it.
My maternal grandmother would certainly have challenged it. Like my grandfather, she was born into a poor family in East Yorkshire at the turn of the century and their eating regime was simple: meat and at least two vegetables at every meal, lots of butter and full-cream milk (they would have scorned yogurt as little more than “off” milk), bread, potatoes, cake and puddings.
Nothing would have swayed them from that lifestyle. Had a low-fat diet been suggested by a doctor, Gran would have told him to his face that it was all rubbish and that you needed fat to “keep the cold out”.
If she could have seen people buying skimmed milk today, she would have thought they had lost their minds. Getting rid of the best bit of milk? Lunacy.
Late in her life, I recall her scorning the advice on limiting the consumption of eggs because of concerns about cholesterol. On one occasion, she watched in astonishment as a celebrity TV chef made an egg-white omelette. “He’s a bloody fool, that man,” she said.
She was right to be skeptical, it turns out. For years the authorities told us cholesterol-rich foods would kill us – but we’ve since learned that is utter drivel.”
John Nicholson was fat and ill as a vegan
“While Ancel Keys, the scientist whose research in the Fifties first raised concerns about cholesterol levels, suggested that heart disease was linked to large amounts of cholesterol in the blood, he never claimed those levels were linked to the amount of cholesterol we eat.
“There’s no connection whatsoever between cholesterol in food and cholesterol in blood,” he said in a magazine article in 1997. “And we’ve known that all along.”
Since then, the NHS’s paranoia about cholesterol in food has been replaced by concerns about saturated fat – found in everything from butter, cheese and cream to pies, cakes and biscuits.
They suggest saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. But this is open to debate.
France has the lowest rate of death from coronary heart disease in Europe, yet the country has the highest consumption of saturated fats.
Gran survived into her 80’s and Grandad into his 70’s, despite laboring down the pit his whole working life. Did they achieve this by gobbling low-fat spreads, soya oil or skimmed milk? No, they lived on old-fashioned foods such as butter, lard and beef fat. Indeed, a growing body of opinion suggests that the factory-made products that have replaced these staples – vegetable oils, polyunsaturated margarine and spreads – are the real cause of the degenerative diseases that are so common today.”
John Nicholson is leaner and healthier after he changed his diet as a meat eater
“Findings by the Weston A. Price Foundation, a non-profit-making research organization in America, show most cases of heart attack in the 20th century were of a hitherto little-known form known as myocardial infarction (MI) – a huge blood clot leading to the obstruction of a coronary artery.
MI was almost non-existent in the U.S. in 1910 and was causing no more than 3,000 deaths a year by 1930. However, by 1960, there were at least 500,000 MI deaths a year across the country.
It surely can’t be a coincidence that this happened as the U.S. embraced a new diet based on increasingly large portions of highly processed foods and vegetable oils?
Similar changes in the national diet took place in Britain during the early years of my life and I can’t help wondering whether my father might still be alive today if it had not been for this shift.
I grew up in the North-East during the Sixties and had no idea about “healthy eating”. Those few people who did fret about their diet were thought of as fussy.
No one thought food was a problem, unless the chip shop ran out of battered sausage on a Friday. We ate suet puddings every week, our bacon and eggs were fried in lard, milk was full-fat – I’m not sure skimmed milk even existed in the Sixties – and we ate eggs every day.
Then, in the Seventies, things changed. We got wealthier and food became cheaper. Mam began buying more cakes and confectionery instead of home-baking. We ate more shop-bought food in general.
She also stopped using lard in the chip pan, opting for Spry Crisp ’n Dry instead. Gran wasn’t pleased. She thought vegetable oil was a new-fangled fad – it was, and that was precisely why Mam liked it. She saw it as moving on, modern and fashionable.
Dad never did any exercise and drove everywhere in his newly acquired company car.
More processed food, margarine, sugar and vegetable oil, combined with days spent behind a desk and a wheel, saw him gain a sizeable belly and the apple shape so common today. In 1987, he died of a massive heart attack, aged just 65.
His diet in his later years was not one that would have appealed to Gran. She was vehemently against margarine.
“I’m not eating anything made in a factory,” she’d say. “You don’t know what they put in it.”
It was a fear shared by many of her era. Had I heeded such warnings, I would have avoided my battle with processed food, in the form of soya, the bean whose industrially produced extracts are marketed as a low-fat and exceptionally healthy source of protein.
Today, soya is everywhere. About two-thirds of all processed food in the U.S. contains some form of it. That percentage will not be much different here – you’d be amazed at how often you eat ‘hidden’ soya.
When my partner, Dawn, and I decided to become vegan during the Eighties, it was still rare in Britain. This lifestyle shift came about shortly after we’d left Newcastle Polytechnic and moved to live self-sufficiently in a rented cottage in northern Scotland.
When one of our chickens became ill, we found it terribly difficult to put it out of its misery and began to doubt whether killing – or eating – animals was for us.
We didn’t see why someone else should have to do our dirty work for us, so in January 1984 we ate our last bacon sandwiches and embarked on our dramatic lifestyle change.
At about this time, governments in the U.S. and Europe were recommending that people cut down on eating animal fats, cholesterol and red meat in favor of more starchy foods, fruit and vegetables and wholegrains.
This new healthy eating advice had much in common with the vegetarian diet. We felt we were following a golden path, especially when we discovered the apparent wonders of soya.
Only later did we discover that research by the Weston A. Price Foundation had suggested that processed soya foods are rich in chemicals called trypsin inhibitors, which disrupt protein digestion. I believe it was these that created all my problems with IBS.
Soya has also been associated with hypothyroidism, or an under-active thyroid, a condition whose symptoms include unexplained weight gain, lack of energy and depression – all problems that Dawn began to experience. These problems were exacerbated by other health problems caused by our diet.
As voracious consumers of nuts, pulses and wholegrains, our diet was very high in copper and, because of the lack of animal protein, low in zinc. Some researchers have linked this imbalance to constant feelings of fatigue, something with which Dawn and I were all too familiar.
For years, we gave the NHS every chance to find out what was wrong with us and get us well. But doctors didn’t and couldn’t – perhaps because they wouldn’t even consider that our apparently healthy diet might be the problem.
Finally, in desperation, Dawn suggested we should try eating meat again. At the same time, we cut out all vegetable oils, except olive oil, and ate lots of lard, beef dripping, butter, cream and full-fat milk.
We have also cut out starchy carbohydrates such as bread, which contains a component of starch that causes blood sugar levels to peak and trough, leading to a cycle of hunger and over-eating.
Admittedly, the absence of bread is one aspect of our new diet that might have caused Gran to ask if I had gone “soft in the head”. In her day, they needed lots of carbohydrates to fuel their physically demanding lives, but we are far more sedentary.
But I’m sure she would have approved of everything else about our new diet because her generation knew how to eat properly. That’s a skill we have forgotten, brain-washed as we are by government and medical propaganda.
It’s time we reminded ourselves of it, questioning the one-size-fits-all, “healthy” eating advice we’re spoon-fed and opting instead for wholesome, unprocessed, home-made food.”