It’s yet one more way the coronavirus pandemic could mess with you. But it’s not some scary new variant. And it isn’t those Long Covid symptoms you’ve been hearing so much about, either.
In fact, this complication could leave you in pain and struggling with a lingering disability even if you’ve never had the virus. And it could land you in the hospital… or worse.
New research has revealed that spending the past year and a half cooped up at home has had an unexpected consequence. It has left many folks weak and unsteady on their feet. And, of course, seniors are especially at risk.
In fact, the problem is so serious that many older folks find themselves facing a much higher risk of falls.
But I’ve got a solution that could help you regain your balance and get steady on your feet once again.
Risk of falls skyrocketing because of COVID
Even before the pandemic, when it came to falls, the numbers were shocking.
- falls every second
- heads to the ER for a fall every 10 seconds
- is hospitalized for falling every 90 seconds
Plus, shockingly, every 15 minutes, a senior will die from a fall. And those are just the ones directly linked to an accident.
For many folks, falls are an ongoing nightmare. They often result in injury, chronic pain, and disability. That, in turn, can cause a rapid decline in health, leading to an early death. This is why the death rate jumps in the months after a fall, especially one that results in a broken hip.
But now, those already shocking statistics are poised to get much worse. New research has revealed the inactivity we’ve all been experiencing since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 has hit seniors especially hard.
More than one in four folks over 50 say their physical conditioning has worsened over that time. They say they’ve lost flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance. And the older they are, the more likely they are to report those declines.
As a result, the study finds 46 percent of seniors have a greater fear of falls.
Even worse, some folks have already taken a tumble and have untreated or poorly healed injuries. In some cases, fear of catching the coronavirus kept them from heading to the hospital to get the proper care. In others, overwhelmed and full hospitals stood in the way of them getting adequate treatment.
And with the Delta variant spiking, both are becoming a threat again in some parts of the country. But don’t worry. Remember, I said earlier that I have a solution that could help.
4 ways to reduce your fall risk
There are ways you can reduce your risk of falls even if you’re still avoiding public spaces or not going out much in general because of the appearance of the coronavirus variants.
The first is the simplest step of all. Walk more. Because even if coronavirus case counts are rising near you, it’s still safe to go for a walk outside. In fact, it’s downright healthy both physically AND mentally.
So commit to a daily walk or even two. You’ll find your confidence growing right along with your muscles. Walking builds lower body strength improving balance and helping to prevent falls in seniors.
Second, visit YouTube and look for videos on how to do “chair exercises.” These are basic exercises you can do from the comfort of your own home with nothing more than a sturdy chair.
Chair exercises are terrific for building strength and balance. Just be sure to have someone there with you when you do them for safety purposes. Especially in the beginning as you start to rebuild your muscles.
Third, not every fall risk is due to a lack of movement or physical conditioning. Many falls are the result of drug side effects.
If you haven’t gone over your prescriptions with your doctor lately to look for red flags, do so as soon as you can. You may even be able to set up a telehealth visit, so you don’t have to go into the office if you don’t feel entirely safe yet.
And finally, there are a few more basic movements you can do at home in your own living room that can increase flexibility and balance, reducing your risk for falls. Click here for the details.