If walking becomes a challenge, you might want to walk less, maybe stay home more. This approach may be tempting especially if you have had a fall and fear having another. Yet, you wonder whether walking less will help or hurt avoid falls.
In April 2019, researchers from Duke University reported their findings from a study of older adults and falls1. They reported that those with more social “connectedness” had ___ fewer falls over a one year period (cite).
The challenge is how to move from the evidence that maintaining social connectedness prevents falls, to doing it.
The research suggests it is important to stay in touch with the people and activities we enjoy. For some, this might mean coffee time with a friend, for others perhaps it is Bingo nights. Whatever works for you!
From Science to Safety
Knowing what would be good to do, we still have to take the action steps needed to do it. We understand it may be hard, you may be “not in the mood”. Recognize that it is important for your health to do this.
- One option is “going out.” Perhaps you have a friend or neighbor who would go to an event with you. You would be supporting each other.
If driving is a concern, consider options. Does your community have public transportation? Can you exchange some service for a ride? Call an Uber/Lyft?
Getting “out and about” can be scary, especially if you have become more comfortable staying home. Take a first step. Commit to doing it once.
After one try out, you can congratulate yourself for getting out. You may find you liked the activity, or the people, or both! Next, repeat.
- Another option is to invite a friend or two to visit you. Suggest a get together over an event – a birthday, solstice).
Or you might consider a shared interest – a game of cards or puzzle making. Sometimes such activities become weekly events, with each person bringing snacks, or changing who will host.
Remember, science says:
Being socially active tips the scales in favor of safety. Connect more socially, fall less!