Medical City Dallas Hospital's Tips to Prevent a Fall
As you get older, your risk for falls may also be increasing. One of the leading causes of injury among older adults is falls.
The two most common risk factors are:
Blood pressure medications and proper blood pressure monitoring may be necessary for your well being, but sedating medications, including pain medications and muscle relaxants, may cause you to lose balance.
As the body grows old, parts wear out, balance can become unsteady and eyesight may become diminished, putting you at risk for a tumble over objects on the floor. Weakened bone structure and decreased muscle tone and bone strength can also make fractures result from a fall.
We are here to help heal and support you if an unfortunate fall occurs, but we also want to share some tips with the hope that you can prevent a fall from occurring.
- Stay active. Physical activity keeps your muscle tone and bones strong. Gentle exercise can improve strength, balance, flexibility and coordination.
- Modify your environment. De-clutter your living space. Monitor your home for any items that could cause a trip and fall. These items commonly include end tables in high-traffic areas, electrical cords, plant stands, and loose rugs or floorboards. Clean spills up immediately to avoid later falls. Also, keep necessity items within a proper reach; overstretching or reaching for items can also result in falls. Watch your cabinets—make sure cabinet doors and drawers are closed.
- Wear the right shoes. Ensure that your footwear is not hazardous to your mobility. Make sure you have enough friction or traction between your shoes and any walking surface. Ensure your house shoes have a non-skid grip on the bottom. It is also important to have appropriately sized shoes.
- Ensure good lighting. This is key. Replace used light bulbs when needed. Make sure there is adequate lighting as you move around your house. Nightlights are useful in all areas of your house, but especially in the bedrooms, bathrooms and hallways.
Your doctor can monitor for osteoporosis with bone mineral density tests and x-rays. If a fracture is the result of a fall or trauma, physical therapy and rehabilitation will be needed, as well as a pharmacological and possible surgical intervention.