The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new tool, My Mobility Plan, which provides resources and tips for older adults to help manage their health to maintain mobility, make their homes safer to prevent falls, and consider alternative transportation as they age so they can stay safe, mobile and independent longer.
One in four adults now age 65 will live to 90 and older. As we get older, physical changes can make it harder to get around and do things we want or need to do such as driving, shopping or doing household chores.
You might not have mobility problems now, but you could in the future. While it may not be possible to prevent all of these changes, there are actions you and your loved ones can take today, and as you age, to help keep you safe and independent tomorrow.
Staying healthy and managing chronic conditions help maintain your mobility. Get a physical checkup each year. Some health issues may increase your risk of falling such as leg weakness and balance problems.
Review all your medicines with a doctor or pharmacist. Certain medicines can have side effects that can change your ability to drive, walk, or get around safely.
Follow a regular activity program to increase your strength and balance. Strength and balance activities, done at least three times a week, can reduce your risk of falling. Other activities, like walking, are good for you, but don’t help prevent falls.
Get a medical eye exam each year and address any issues. Good eyesight is about more than 20/20 vision. For example, you need to see well in the dark to drive safely at night.
The CDC resource includes a plan to stay safe at home and includes a checklist to help prevent falls. The other section is about staying mobile in your community. The four-page My Mobility Plan document can be found online at www.cdc.gov.