Fall Prevention tips

Preventing falls is the first step in avoiding a broken hip. Hip fractures are one of the most common (and feared) injuries sustained when an elderly person falls. While there are many factors that make some folks more susceptible to falling and more likely to have serious injuries, there are also ways to prevent them.

Risks:

  • Gender – about 70% of hip fractures occur in women due to the decrease in estrogen levels after menopause.
  • Medical conditions and medications – Certain medical conditions such as an overactive thyroid can lead to fragile bones. Some medications, such as prednisone, can weaken bones when taken long-term. Many medications, especially blood pressure medications, can increase your risk for falls. Take your time when changing positions.

Prevention:

  • Nutrition – A well-balanced diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, and protein can help strengthen bones and muscles prevent falls and decrease serious injuries if they do occur. Drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration will also help prevent falls.
  • Alcohol and tobacco use – Both interfere with bone building and maintenance. Alcohol can impair balance and mobility leading to higher incidence of falls.
  • Physical activity – Weight-bearing exercises help strengthen bones and muscles, making falls and fractures less likely.
  • Keep paths clear and visible – tidy up clutter, remove throw rugs, and ensure proper lighting.
  • Wear proper footwear – wearing shoes that fit well or non-slip socks can help prevent falls.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Hip Fracture.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., 11 Mar. 2015. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

Myers, Wyatt. “9 Ways to Prevent Falling at Home.” EverydayHealth.com. Everyday Health, 27 Feb. 2015. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

Article Provided by Ashley Boshes, Mary’s Woods Clinic and Home Care RN

 

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