In Maryland, the leaves are turning beautiful fall colors. The air is crisp more often, and that fuzzy blanket feels good at night! The move from summer to autumn makes itself known in obvious and in subtle ways.
Throughout life, your body makes changes, too. Some are obvious. Some are subtle.
Many of these changes increase your risk for falls and/or injury with a fall.
- Joints get stiffer
- Lung capacity gradually decreases – you might get short of breath easier
- Skin gets drier as overall body water content decreases
- Vision changes, especially your ability to see up close
- Skin and tissues get looser
These changes are usually caught when your doctor monitors your labs, your urine, or does a physical exam.
- Kidneys slow down
- Liver slows down
- Bones get less dense (hard)
- Reflexes aren’t as quick
- Risk for urinary track infection goes up
- Hormone production changes – for men and women
Association with falls
As we move slower, have more joint pain, lose some of our range of motion, and reflexes slow, the risk of falls goes up. As senses such as vision, hearing, touch, smell, and even taste change, these also increase the risk of falls.
The kidney and liver changes are especially important as we think about the impact on how our body handles medications. The liver is the key organ that breaks down medicines in our body. The kidney is one of the primary ways they are then removed. So, as our kidneys and liver slow down, for many medicines, we need lower doses. Sometimes, at some point in the decline of kidneys or liver, some medications should NOT be used at all.
Falls can lead to losing your ability to walk, run, climb stairs, and be as active as you would like to be.
Remember, with accumulated years we also grow in wisdom, in maturity, and learn to count the blessings in our lives! Graceful aging is a beautiful thing. I just don’t want you to fall!
Call us at Meds MASH for a thorough assessment of your current changes, your medications, and ways to decrease your risk of falls. This is one of our specialties! Michelle is one of the creators of a comprehensive falls risk assessment.
Our bodies aren’t the only things that change with time. Our Christian walk is also a journey with twists and turns. Ideally it is an uphill climb to more maturity. But without practice and several bumps in the road, it can be a very flat journey.
So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Growing, learning, and changing take effort and dedication. Practice makes perfect. I don’t expect any of us will reach perfect until Heaven, but practice can certainly help us with improvement.
Hebrews 5:12-13 ESV
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.
To grow and change, we take risks, learn from our mistakes, and gain confidence as God sees us through each obstacle.
James 1:1-27 ESV
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. …
Romans 5:3-4 ESV
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
Rather than avoid the changes that include hardship, know that God will get you through them, and you will grow and change in beautiful ways with each piece of the journey.