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Keeping Healthy: Staying Strong and Steady

"Falls are very serious and they're very common and what people really need to know is that a fall has many factors, a lot of them are intrinsic--within the patient themselves."

"Strength and balance, that's first and foremost how you can start taking care of a loved one who has maybe had a fall.  Do they need assistive devices in the home, do you maybe need a therapist in the home to assess your environment? Different things that could be moved around, rugs that could be taken up," says Bush.

If you're struggling trying to communicate with a family member about this, or not sure if they're at risk for falling, watch for certain factors.  Has your loved one fallen more than once, or do they typically grab on to furniture to get around? And again, watch for any confusion.  Bush says it's also extremely important to discuss any falling patterns with your primary care physician.  One in three adults over 65 years will fall within a year and not discuss it with their doctor.

"When you have dialogue with your primary care doctor," says Bush, "not only are you talking about your blood pressure, and what medications you're on, but your physical performance as well."

Once that dialogue has begun, Bush suggests asking for a referral for a therapist to not only help build physical strength, but help evaluate home safety.

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