Question: How Can I Prevent Falls and Hip Fractures?
Falls are the second leading cause of accidental death. Seniors are the most at risk for a serious fall because of changes in balance and strength that can come with aging. Taking a few common sense precautions can help prevent falls and hip fractures. Taking some basic action could save your life, prevent a hip fracture and keep you independent longer.
Answer: Here's a list of simple, common sense things to do to prevent falls and hip fractures:
- Avoid medications that cause dizziness -ask your doctor and read labels carefully on over-the-counter medications.
- Get your eyes checked, many falls are caused simply from not seeing an obstacle.
- Make sure your cane, walker or other device fits and you know how to use it properly -- don't assume you know how to use a cane or walker, get trained.
- Don't lift anything heavy - it can set you off-balance.
- Keep flashlights handy, remember many falls are caused simply from not being able to see.
- Use lots of night-lights (see above)
- Remove throw rugs and be sure all rugs are on no-slip pads and taped down.
- Always wear flat, non-slip shoes. Avoid heels, stocking feet and slippers (unless they have a good sole and a back).
- Exercise to maintain muscle tone, flexibility and balance.
- Use handrails and install shower and bath bars.
- Remove all obstacles, clutter and other items that may cause you to trip.
- Turn on the lights.
- Don't multi-task, especially outside or in a new place -- pay attention to sidewalks, curbs and other obstacles.