Falls End Lives; Good Balance Saves Them

The wisest doctor I know says this to his elderly patients: “There are two keys to having a long and happy life: one is don’t fall; two is stay away from doctors.” (Nicholas Capazzoli)

Two is related to one because doctors often over prescribe medicines that increase the risk of falls by impairing balance, memory, and judgement.

The odds are I will die from complications following a fall and broken hip. That’s what killed my dad at age 92. My mom survived six years after breaking her hip, but they were pretty miserable because she never got back to full ambulation. Many friends and relatives have had their lives ruined by falls.

There is a good chance you too will break your hip before you die. And that breaking your hip will either result in an early death or an unhappy old age. A fit body and good balance are key to saving your life and keeping it pleasant.

Annelise Dyrli does research on balance at Trondheim University in Norway. I suggest you pay careful attention to her advice- it could make a big difference in how long and how well you live. Ms Dyrli writes:

“Falling is of major concern for old people, linked with reduced functioning, less independence, and an extremely high mortality rate. According to the World Health Organization, falls account for 40 percent of all injury deaths in people aged 65 and over. One quarter of the elderly who experience a hip fracture die within one year. Falling is the fifth leading cause of death in older people, just behind cardiac diseases, cancer, strokes and lung diseases.

Many of the risk factors that predict falling interact with one another: increasing age, poor postural control, slow reaction time, lower activity level, diminished vision, impaired balance, medication use, and previous falls. Women fall —> Read More