When you fall as a kid, you pop back up again and continue playing with your friends. But as we age, falling isn’t such an easy thing. And the older we get, the more damaging and stressful it can be.
Recent studies have shown that more than 90 percent of hip fractures in adults age 65 and older resulted from a fall. These studies have also suggested that falls resulting in hip fractures can have a drastic impact on the injured individual. Most seniors suffering from a hip fracture end up staying in the hospital for a week following the accident, and 25 percent of these patients had to stay at a nursing home for a year or more following the fracture. A more sobering study claimed that approximately 20 percent of hip fracture patients died within a year of the incident.
With such sobering statistics, aging seniors and their caregivers should be aware of the simple steps they can take to help reduce the risk of a hip fracture as a result of a fall.
Know the side effects of your medicine.
Loss of strength and balance is frustrating enough without adding dizziness to the mix. Consult your doctor or pharmacist to find out if any of your current medications can cause dizziness, and try to find alternatives for those that can.
See all of your worlds.
Unfortunately, a majority of falls are the result of an inability to see and avoid an obstacle. Be sure to have your eyes checked for maximum visibility. Also, make sure to walk in well-lit areas. If you can see a hazard, you have a greater chance of avoiding it.
Be sure to continue any exercise routine that your doctor deems appropriate. You want to keep your muscles strong and you in control.
Clean the clutter.
Clear walking areas of tripping hazards such as loose rugs or papers, clothes, and other miscellaneous items. Clean floors provide a much lower tripping hazard.
Falls often occur because you are attempting to do too many things. Don’t carry large items or too many packages from the car to the house. Pay attention to sidewalks, curbs, landscaping, stairs, and other obstacles, especially if you are in unfamiliar areas or late at night.