Preventing Falls at Any Age
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year millions of people age 65 and older fall. In fact, one out of three older people fall each year, and one out of five falls cause serious injuries such as broken bones or head injuries.
It’s important to take preventive steps by seeing your doctor and taking precautions around your house to reduce the risk of falls.
2.5 million people are treated in emergency departments and over 700,000 patients are hospitalized for injuries from falls each year.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
What Conditions Make You More Likely to Fall?
- Lower body weakness
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Difficulty walking or with balance
- Use of medicines, such as tranquilizers, sedatives or antidepressants: Even some over-the-counter medicines can affect balance
- Vision problems
- Home hazards or dangers such as:
- Broken or uneven steps
- Throw rugs or clutter that can be tripped over
- Lack of stair and bathroom handrails
WebMD recommends the following to stay safe from falls:
- Keep your bones strong so talk to your doctor if you’re getting enough vitamin D and calcium.
- Have your vision checked each year or when you notice a change. If you have trouble seeing, you may not be able to avoid objects that cause you to lose your balance.
- Call your doctor if you have calluses or corns on your feet or have sores that are not healing. If you wear loose-fitting shoes because of foot problems, you can lose your balance and fall.
- If you feel lightheaded when standing up quickly, take the time to get up slowly from your bed or chair. When you wake up, it may help to sit up first and count slowly to 10 before trying to stand up. And after standing up, stay still for a few seconds before moving.
- Call your doctor if you are dizzy and lose your balance. You may have a health problem that needs treatment, such as a blood pressure or inner ear problem, or it may be a side effect from a medicine.
- Be sure you are drinking enough water, especially if the weather is hot.
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