Falls can happen to anyone, anytime. However, as people get older, the number and severity of injury from falls increases.
Each year about one-third of people over age 65 will fall. A fall can lead to an injury, followed by hospitalization, rehabilitation, loss of independence and mobility and often to a nursing home stay.
Risk factors for falling include:
- Slow walking
- Inability to walk in a straight line
- Certain medications (such as tranquilizers and sleeping pills)
- Low blood pressure when rising in the morning or from a seated position
- Poor vision
Fortunately, many falls and broken bones can be prevented with healthy lifestyle choices and safety modifications in the home.
Fall Prevention Tips
Here are some tips for preventing falls or fractures from falls:
- Be aware of medications that have side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness
- Stay active and exercise to maintain strength and balance
- Remove any obstacles to walking, such as loose cords, rugs or pieces of furniture
- Keep rooms well lit
- Have regular eye checkups
- Install grab bars in bathrooms near the shower, tub and toilet
- Eliminate hazards at home, such as tripping hazards, clutter and poor lighting
- Get up slowly from sitting or lying down since this may cause dizziness
- Consider wearing a personal emergency response system if you live alone
- Wear low-heeled shoes with rubber soles
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