Falls are a scary thing. It’s normal to feel scared of falling, especially if you have fallen before. Even those who don’t fall can develop the fear if they have a friend who’s fallen. Falls among adults 65 and older can be dangerous and costly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about $50 billion is spent each year on medical costs related to non-fatal falls. One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as a head injury or fracture. Even though we cannot always prevent a fall, it is possible to take measures to help reduce risk of injury related to a fall. There are also things that you can do to be less fearful of falling.
Balance problems are very common in the elderly population. Fear may develop as people begin to lose control of their balance. Problems with balance and strength put you at risk for a fall. Some people tighten their muscles when they feel they are about to fall. However, this stiffening can limit the range of motion and make a fall more likely.
Some contributing factors for a fall include:
Talk to your doctor. Make sure to see your doctor regularly and inform them of any falls or changes to your health. Some of the medications that you use could lead to side effects such as dizziness and drowsiness that may lead to a fall. Common medications that can cause these side effects are blood pressure, pain, and sleep medications and antidepressants. Because the way your body reacts to medicines can change as you age, you should regularly review all your medications with your doctor. They will be able to make changes to them if needed.
See your eye doctor and make sure your eyewear prescriptions are up-to-date. Poor vision and conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts increase the chances of falling.
Remove hazards. There are several measures you can take in your home and outside of it to reduce the risk of a fall.
Begin strength and balance exercises. Exercise helps prevent falls by strengthening your muscles and improving balance. Regular exercise and staying active is one of the best ways to prevent falls. Balance, strength, endurance and flexibility all come from exercise. Good activities to improve balance include Tai chi, yoga, dance and stretching. Yoga and tai chi not only help with balance but also provide a time for recollection and quiet meditation. Cleansing your mind with these activities can help you focus on what’s important in your life—your health and your family. Peer support has been shown to be very effective. Get out and exercise with a group; it will build up your confidence so that you can actively work on your balance. Also remember to use the heel-toe walking method. Focus on getting the heel down first with every step. When you are walking, be aware of your surroundings.
It is important to be able to reach for help in the unfortunate event that you have fallen. Always keep a cell phone with you. Put it on a lanyard around your neck while you move around so that you have it with you constantly throughout the day. Keep a list of emergency numbers near your phone and in your cell phone. There are home monitoring devices also available. If you fall, you can press a button on the device around your neck or wrist. This alerts emergency responders to come and help you.
If you have fallen, the first thing you need to do is make sure you are not hurt.
If you are in pain, wait for help to arrive before moving. Do not attempt to get off the floor if you are injured. It can make the injury worse.
If you are not injured or in pain, it is very important that you know how to get up safely.
There are three main steps to fall recovery: Prepare, rise and sit.
Prepare: While you are on the ground, don’t try to stand up on your own. Look around for a sturdy piece of furniture like the sofa or a sturdy chair. Now roll over to your side by first turning your head in the direction of the sturdy furniture, followed by your shoulders, arms, hip and your leg moving to the side.
Rise: Push your upper body up and lift your head, and make sure you feel steady.
Now get up on your hands and knees and crawl to the sturdy chair or furniture. Place your hands on the chair and slide one foot forward so that it is flat on the floor in preparation for kneeling.
Sit: Keep the other leg bent with the knee on the floor. From this kneeling position, use your hands to slowly rise and turn your body to sit on the chair. Do not get up suddenly; let your body rest and sit for a few minutes before you do anything else.
Know your body and know your limitations. Fall prevention is key. If you have fallen, feel unsteady or if you are afraid that you may fall, make sure to talk openly with your doctor. He may change your medications, prescribe physical or occupational therapy, and get you started on a fall prevention program.
The content of this site is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical conditions or treatments.
As you know, the gig economy has been booming over the past several years. If youre thinking of using your skills to take on a side gig, what should you do with the money youll make?Theres no one right answer for everyone, and the decisions you make should be based on your individual situation. And of course, you may simply need the extra income to support your lifestyle and pay the bills. But if you already have your cash flow in good shape, and you have some freedom with your gig money, consider these suggestions: Contribute more to your IRA. If you couldnt afford to contribute the maximum amount to your IRA, you may find it easier to do so when you have additional money coming in from a side gig. For the 2023 tax year, you can put in up to $6,500 to a traditional or Roth IRA, or $7,500 if youre 50 or older. (Starting in 2024, this extra $1,000 catch-up contribution amount may be indexed for inflation.) The amount you can contribute to a Roth IRA is reduced, and eventually eliminated, at certain income levels. Look for new investment opportunities. If youre already maxing out your IRA, you might be able to find other investment possibilities for your side gig money. For example, if you have young children, perhaps you could use some of the money to invest in a 529 education savings plan. A 529 plan offers potential tax advantages and can be used for college, qualified trade school programs, and possibly some K-12 expenses. Please keep in mind that potential tax advantages will vary from state to state. Build an emergency fund. Life is full of unexpected events and some can be quite expensive. What if you needed a major car repair or required a medical procedure that wasnt totally covered by your health insurance? Would you have the cash available to pay these bills? If not, would you be forced to dip into your IRA or 401(k)? This might not be a good move, as it could incur taxes and penalties, and deprive you of resources you might eventually need for retirement. Thats why you might want to use your gig earnings to help fund an emergency fund containing several months worth of living expenses, with the money kept in a liquid, low-risk account. To avoid being tempted to dip into your emergency fund, you may want to keep it separate from your daily spending accounts. Pay down debts. Most of us will always carry some debts, but we can usually find ways to include the bigger ones mortgage, car payments and so on into our monthly budgets. Its often the smaller debt payments, frequently associated with high-interest-rate credit cards, that cause us the most trouble, in terms of affecting our cash flow. If you can use some of your side gig money to pay down these types of debts, you could possibly ease some of the financial stress you might be feeling. And instead of directing money to pay for things you purchased in the past, you could use the funds to invest for your future.As weve seen, your side gig money could open several promising windows of opportunity so take a look through all of them. Chad Choate III, AAMS828 3rd Avenue WestBradenton, FL email@example.com This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC
Its been a bumpy year for the financial markets which means that some of your investments may have underperformed or lost value. Can you use these losses to your advantage?Its possible. If you have some investments that have lost value, you could sell them to offset taxable capital gains from other investments. If your losses exceed gains for the year, you could use the remaining losses to offset up to $3,000 of ordinary income. And any amount over $3,000 can be carried forward to offset gains in future years. This tax-loss harvesting can be advantageous if you plan to sell investments that youve held in taxable accounts for years and that have grown significantly in value. And you might receive some gains even if you take no action yourself. For example, when you own mutual funds, the fund manager can decide to sell stocks or other investments within the funds portfolio and then pay you a portion of the proceeds. These payments, known as capital gains distributions, are taxable to you whether you take them as cash or reinvest them back into the fund. Still, despite the possible tax benefits of selling investments whose price has fallen, you need to consider carefully whether such a move is in your best interest. If an investment has a clear place in your holdings, and it offers good business fundamentals and favorable prospects, you might not want to sell it just because its value has dropped. On the other hand, if the investments youre thinking of selling are quite similar to others you own, it might make sense to sell, take the tax loss and then use the proceeds of the sale to purchase new investments that can help fill any gaps in your portfolio. If you do sell an investment and reinvest the funds, youll want to be sure your new investment is different in nature from the one you sold. Otherwise, you could risk triggering the wash sale rule, which states that if you sell an investment at a loss and buy the same or a substantially identical investment within 30 days before or after the sale, the loss is generally disallowed for income tax purposes.Heres one more point to keep in mind about tax-loss harvesting: Youll need to take into account just how long youve held the investments youre considering selling. Thats because long-term losses are first applied against long-term gains, while short-term losses are first applied against short-term gains. (Long-term is defined as more than a year; short-term is one year or less.) If you have excess losses in one category, you can then apply them to gains of either type. Long-term capital gains are taxed at 0%, 15% or 20%, depending on your income, while short-term gains are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate. So, from a tax perspective, taking short-term losses could provide greater benefits if your tax rate is higher than the highest capital gains rate.Youll want to contact your tax advisor to determine whether tax-loss harvesting is appropriate for your situation and youll need to do it soon because the deadline is Dec. 31. But whether you pursue this technique this year or not, you may want to keep it in mind for the future because youll always have investment tax issues to consider. Chad Choate III, AAMS828 3rd Avenue WestBradenton, FL firstname.lastname@example.org This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.Edward Jones, Member SIPC
As you go through life, youll have various financial goals and to achieve them, youll need to invest. But just recognizing the need to invest is not as useful as matching specific types of accounts or investments with specific goals. How can you make these connections?Lets look at some common goals and how they could possibly be met with appropriate accounts and investments: Saving for a down payment on a house When youre saving for a down payment, you want a certain amount of money available at a certain time so, for this goal, you wont want to take too much risk. Consequently, you might consider investing in certificates of deposit (CDs), which will pay you regular interest payments and return your principal when the CDs mature. CDs are issued in a range of maturities, from one month to 10 years. Other vehicles you might consider are money market accounts or other cash equivalents. Saving for a childs education If you have children, and youd like to help them pay for some form of higher education, you may want to consider a 529 education savings plan. Any earnings growth in a 529 plan is federally tax free, provided the withdrawals are used for qualified education expenses, and you may also receive state tax benefits. A 529 plan can be used for college, approved trade school programs, student loan repayments and some K-12 costs. And if the child youve named as a beneficiary chooses not to continue their education, and doesnt need the money in a 529 plan, you can generally switch beneficiaries to another immediate family member. Saving for retirement This is the one goal that will remain consistent throughout your working years after all, you could spend two or even three decades in retirement, so youll need to accumulate as many financial resources as you can to pay for those years. Fortunately, you likely have access to several good retirement-savings vehicles. If you work for a business, you might have a 401(k) plan, which offers you the chance to put away money on a tax-deferred basis. (If you have a Roth option in your 401(k), your withdrawals can be tax free, although, unlike a traditional 401(k), your contributions wont lower your taxable income.) If you work for a public school or a nonprofit organization, you may be able to participate in a 403(b) plan, which is quite similar to a 401(k), and the same is true if you work for a state or local government, where you might have a 457(b) plan. And even if you invest in any of these plans, you can probably also contribute to an IRA, which gives you another chance to invest on a tax-deferred basis (or tax-free basis, if youre eligible for a Roth IRA). Try to take full advantage of whatever retirement plans are available to you.Here's one final point to keep in mind: While some investments and accounts are appropriate for certain goals, they may not necessarily be suitable for your individual situation so keep all your options in mind and take the steps that are right for you. Chad Choate III, AAMS828 3rd Avenue WestBradenton, FL email@example.com This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC
We are focused on two things: the progress our patients make and the outcomes they achieve. This is evident by our industry-leading performance scores. We want you to get better; and to make that happen, we need to know where you began. Upon arrival at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Sarasota, we will measure how much help you need to perform basic skills - this is called your Functional Outcome Measures. Your rehabilitation team will review this assessment with you, set challenging but attainable goals and design a treatment plan to help you meet your specific goals. Before you leave the hospital, we will rescore your Functional Outcome Measures assessment to see how much you've improved, determine how well you have met your goals and provide you the materials and training you need to continue your progress after you leave the hospital. We proudly display our Gold Seal of Approval as we have earned the JOINT COMMISSION ACCREDITATION.