[SENIORS] Does Your Home Contain One of the Biggest Threats to Your Health?

Steve McDonald By Steve McDonald, Bond Strategist, The Oxford Club

Two-Minute Retirement Solution

As we age, dropping stock and bond prices aren’t the only falls we have to worry about.

Short of cancer, falling itself is one of the greatest threats to our health. It’s often caused by poor balance, difficulty on stairs, prescription medications that cause dizziness, tripping over scatter rugs and muscle weakness.

A serious fall increases the difficulty of daily living by 166%. A cast on a broken arm is difficult, but a broken leg or hip can be catastrophic.

Falls increase the rate of heart disease by 46%. And depression is 58% more likely after a tumble.

Every year, 3 million older Americans end up in emergency rooms because of falls.

And it has a costly price tag… The average price per fall is around $35,000.

Forty percent of elderly people who have a serious fall end up in nursing homes.

If you make it back home after a fall, your mobility will not be the same, and you should expect to have in-home help.

And stairs are one of the biggest culprits.

When we were buying our home in Florida, my better half, Eileen – who is a hospice nurse and sees the results of falls all day every day in the nursing facilities she visits – insisted on no steps.

Whether it’s steps to the house, into the tub or shower, or from room to room, they are one of the major contributors to serious falls. Newer retirement communities have taken this to heart and have walk-in showers and baths.

You may not be able to eliminate all the steps in your home, but we can prevent these debilitating accidents. This can be done by…

  • Dumping the heels. Women’s heels are things of our youth.
  • Investing in nonslip soles.
  • Getting rid of throw rugs.
  • Buying bedroom slippers with hard soles, not smooth felt or leather soles.
  • Adding lighting or increasing the wattage of lights in dimly lit areas.
  • Tidying up. Get all those boxes and storage bins out of the way.
  • Installing grab bars in your shower.
  • And using slip-proof bath mats.

We’ve worked so hard to get here in decent shape, let’s not let a preventable slip, trip or tumble shorten our stay.

And there are some people who are less likely to suffer falls… men, obese individuals and married folks. So guys, go ahead and have that dessert, and remember, happy wife, happy life.

Good investing,

Steve