Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospital stays among older adults.
While anyone call fall, the likelihood increases as you age. If you have fallen once, you’re more likely to fall again and the injuries can range from minor to severe, including sprains, head or spinal cord trauma and soft-tissue injuries. Those with osteoporosis have a higher chance of fracturing a bone, like the hip, which can lead to lack of mobility, loss of muscle mass and a decline in general well-being.
The highest number of falls that are reported at emergency are #1 bathroom and #2 kitchen. Many falls occur in and around the home and can be caused by factors such as poor lighting, scatter rugs, slippery floors or stairs without handrails. Make sure your indoor shoes have non-skid soles and won’t slip off your feet, remove any tripping hazards.
A loss of muscle strength and a lack of balance, strength and flexibility can also lead to an increased probability of falling, and these conditions become more prevalent as you age. It’s hugely important to maintain your activity level and muscle strength to the best of your ability. There are wonderful exercises designed to maintain functional fitness, to more advanced strength training for maintaining healthy bones, improving muscle tone and balance.
Fall Prevention Tips:
– Get your eyes checked, Cataract removal has been shown to reduce the risk of fractures.
– Make sure you’re eating and sleeping well and hydrating properly.
– Keep in touch with your physician regarding adjusting any medication that might predispose you to falling.
– Make sure you have shoes that fit correctly with excellent support and good tread, or a cane or another assistance devise if needed.
– Consider using a hip protector, a foam or plastic shield that is sewn into an undergarment. They are designed to protect your hips by absorbing and/or diverting the force of a fall away from the hip bone upon impact.
Falling is a serious business, but with foresight and vigilance you can lessen the odds that it’ll happen to you!