National Nutrition Month-What does this have to do with safety??

Plenty! There are many circumstances that the health of our bodies may determine if we become injured or even the extent of our injury. For example, the risk of falling in older individuals becomes greater with muscular weakness. Loss of muscle mass occurs the older we become, but the loss can be reduced by proper nutrition. Here are some facts from the National Council on Aging and the Iowa Department of Aging………….

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs.

However, falling is not an inevitable result of aging. Through practical lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based falls prevention programs, and clinical-community partnerships, the number of falls among seniors can be substantially reduced.

The Challenge

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year.
  • Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.
  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.
  • Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.
  • In 2014, the total cost of fall injuries was $31 billion.
  • The financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages and may reach $67.7 billion by 2020.

Falls, with or without injury, also carry a heavy quality of life impact. A growing number of older adults fear falling and, as a result, limit their activities and social engagements. This can result in further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness.



How Nutrition Can Help Prevent

Athletes are usually very careful about what they eat as they try to maximize their strength and endurance. Over time lifestyles often change. Many people lose their strength and endurance as they age. This article highlights what older adults can do to maintain their strength and reduce the risk for falls.

A national study of what individuals over 70 years of age ate unfortunately showed that the majority of calories came from white bread, cake, rolls, cookies, cereal, ice cream, pie and whole milk. Only three to four percent of individuals 55 years and older participated in active leisure time and spent on average 6.5 hours daily watching television

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