You can make small changes to help prevent falls. One in 3 older adults will fall each year. Falling can lead to broken bones, trouble getting around, and other health problems – especially if you are age 65 or older.
A fracture (broken bone) can cause pain and disability. It can also make it hard to do everyday activities without help, like cooking a meal or taking a shower. Broken hips are a major cause of health problems and death among older adults.
As people age, poor balance, and weak muscles can lead to falls and fractures. Older adults usually fall while doing everyday activities, like walking, or turning around.
Some older adults also have vision problems or medical conditions that can make a fall more likely.
You may be more likely to fall if you:
- Have fallen in the past year
- Have a health condition that makes it hard to walk or affects your balance, like diabetes or heart disease
- Have trouble walking, getting up from a chair, or stepping up onto a curb
- Take many different medicines, especially medicines to help you relax or sleep
- Have trouble seeing or have a vision problem like cataracts or glaucoma
- The increased amount of time it takes you to react may make it harder to catch your balance if you start to fall.
- Foot problems that cause painful feet, and wearing unsafe footwear can increase your chance of falling.
- Sensory problems can cause falls, too. If your senses don't work well, you might be less aware of your environment.
Many falls can be prevented. Follow these steps to lower your risk of falling:
- Staying active can help you feel better, improve your balance, and make your legs stronger
- Exercise regularly to strengthen your muscles
- Use medicines safely can help prevent falls. Some medicines can make you sleepy or dizzy and can cause you to fall
- Get your vision checked. Get your eyes tested at least once a year to make sure you are wearing glasses or contact lenses with the right prescription strength. Be sure to update your glasses or contacts if your prescription has changed.
- Get a bone density test. If you are a woman age 65 or older, get a bone density test to measure how strong your bones are. If you have weak bones (osteoporosis), you can take steps to stop bone loss and lower your chances of breaking a bone.
- Help prevent falls at home. Take steps to fix the dangerous areas in your home. Keep stairs and places where you walk clear of clutter. Pick up or move things you can trip over, like cords, papers, shoes, or books.
- Get enough calcium and vitamin D. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D can help keep your bones strong and less likely to break.
- Getting enough sleep can help you be more alert so you are less likely to fall.
- Alcohol can increase your risk of falling. Drinking alcohol only in moderation can help you stay safe and avoid injuries.
At KIMS, we apply the most recent medical breakthroughs and recommendations to help you attain the strongest bones possible. Our ultimate goal is to reduce your risk of suffering an old-age fall related bone injuries.