At first, it was unsettling.
I had to relearn how to do ordinary things like dance at weddings, celebrate birthdays and go on first dates without liquid courage. But without the hangovers, I finally got to do the thing that every self-help book has called for since the beginning of time: take actual care of myself. I put dating on the backburner, started meditating, and went on my dream trip to Morocco to explore what was left of the Moroccan-Jewish community my great-grandparents, grandparents, and father had been born into.
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Standing in the Casablanca synagogue where my grandparents were married, I felt connected to something much bigger than myself. I knew that when I was drinking, this type of spiritual experience would never have been possible. My weekends—formerly a montage of cancelled plans, naps on my couch, and greasy food deliveries—also started getting fuller. I found myself waking up before 9AM on Saturdays, headache-free and ready to take on the day.
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I felt like I was making up for lost time, filling in the space I had wasted when I was drinking. I felt productive, focused and in control. And then, something utterly unexpected and exciting happened: I met someone. But the joke was on me. He was kind, warm, handsome, and the most open communicator I had ever met, curious to learn more about my sobriety, spiritual life, and dreams.
We fell in love faster than I was comfortable admitting at first, and it turned out he was the last person I wanted living in a different timezone. Research has identified many conditions that contribute to falling.
These are called risk factors. Many risk factors can be changed or modified to help prevent falls. They include:. Most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors.
Important Facts about Falls
The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling. Do exercises that make your legs stronger and improve your balance. Tai Chi is a good example of this kind of exercise. Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year, and be sure to update your eyeglasses if needed. If you have bifocal or progressive lenses, you may want to get a pair of glasses with only your distance prescription for outdoor activities, such as walking.
Sometimes these types of lenses can make things seem closer or farther away than they really are. Learn more about free online training for health care providers. Learn More. Healthcare plays a part, but so do the conditions in which they and their families live, work, grow and play — what we call the social determinants of health.
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And many of these are inextricably linked to the growing rates of child poverty in the UK. Yet, despite clear evidence and recommendations , no action has been taken.
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While the latest report focuses on the deaths of babies, there are signs that not all is well at older ages. As with infant mortality, improvements in life expectancy have stalled, peaking in and so far failing to return to that level. What is especially worrying is that life expectancy at older ages has actually been worsening, again an extremely unusual situation.
Meanwhile, a recent report from the Nuffield Trust showed that death rates in those aged 20 to 24 increased between and More young people are dying, more babies are dying, and we can expect to live shorter lives. These developments must surely be a concern for an incoming prime minister, but what can be done?
The first priority must be to determine why they are happening.