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Alberta Health Services give tips for seniors` independence

Written by: Zachary Ferguson-Frick, MyLakelandNow

Seniors`week is coming to an end this Sunday and Alberta Health Services would like to share how seniors can stay safe and stay healthy and independent by promoting healthy activity to reduce falls.

Seniors’ Week started on June 6th and will be ending on the 12th.

Alberta Health Services warns that falls are a leading cause of injury in seniors and can cause life-limiting effects that can lead to a decrease in independence. In 2020 more than 34,000 seniors had visits to an emergency department or urgent care center.

AHS says risks of falling do increase as people age but falls are not considered a normal part of aging and there are actions to be taken to help avoid falls:

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Keep Active to maintain strength and balance. Regular physical activity can help prevent injury and enhance independence, improving overall quality of life. Specifically,

Check Your Vision and ensure you have a complete annual eye exam

  • Allow eyes time to adjust to light and to pay attention to surroundings to help prevent falls.
  • Changes to vision may increase the risk of falling. Alberta Health Care covers the cost of an annual eye exam for adults aged 65 and older. Some seniors may also be eligible for limited reimbursement for prescription eyeglasses. See Vision Care for Seniors (Alberta Association of Optometrists)

Review Your Medications annually with a doctor or pharmacist.

Reduce falls in the home

  • Keep floors and pathways clear of furniture, cords, and clutter
  • Remove items you can trip over
  • Move furniture and electrical cords out of walking paths
  • Keep your home well-lit
  • Remove scatter rugs and mats. Use non-slip mats on slippery surfaces like bathroom floors and entranceways.
  • If you use a cane, replace the rubber tip when it becomes worn
  • Ensure you have sturdy handrails along stairways
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