I’m preparing to give a lecture at the end of this month. And while it’s geared toward baby boomers (and those older) on ways to avoid losing independence and possibly their way of life, I thought the information was important enough to share with you. There are five areas which I deem important, and they are as follows: 1). Exercise: is one of the most important ways to reduce your risk of falling. It also is important for keeping bones strong, boosting immunity, improving circulation, getting stronger, and making you feel better overall. Exercise is a must! 2). Check your meds: have your pharmacist or doctor review all the medications you take, even OTC’s. Some medicines, or combinations of medicines can make you sleepy or dizzy. 3). Vision: eyesight generally declines as we age, and of all our senses, we are most reliant on eyesight for balance. Nutritional support, improved circulation, and exercises to relax the eyes are important. Yearly eye exams is a must, especially if you have a condition like glaucoma or cataracts. Diabetes can also negatively affect the eyes. 4). Hearing: Ears are nearly as important as the eyes for maintaining balance, and actually corrects balance faster than eyesight. Improving circulation and learning to relax the ears are important for improving hearing. 5). Make your home safer: Have grab bars installed next to shower or tub and toilet Use non-slip mats in the tub and on shower floors Improve the lighting in your home. Hang light-weight shades or curtains to reduce glare Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping. Make sure any extension cords are out of traffic routes. Remove things you can trip over ( like shoes, books, clothes, etc) from stairs and places where you walk. Know where your pet is before stepping Re-organize your pantry and cabinets. Keep items you often use in aa cupboard you can reach easily without having to use a step stool, or reaching too far. Wear good supportive shoes both inside and outside the house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers.

I mention improved circulation for both eyesight and hearing. The part of the brain called the cerebellum controls the eyes, ears, and a motor function called proprioception. Blood circulation is extremely important for keeping the cerebellum healthy. Along with exercise, the following foods are good for circulation. Garlic, onions, cayenne pepper, rosemary, parsley, and ginger. Artichokes, barley, oats, nuts, beans, pumpkin seeds, and dark leafy greens are excellent choices. Supplements to help circulation include magnesium, arginine, niacin (flush-free), ginkgo biloba, and hawthorne.

If any of you have some tips to share, I would appreciate the feedback.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.