Preventing Hip Fractures

Falls are common and aside from the obvious injuries, falling can cause wide-ranging consequences, including pain, loss of independence, mental decline, and decreased activity and mobility. Fortunately, majority of falls are preventable. Many medical risk factors for falling can be controlled. Simple common sense precautions can reduce, if not eliminate, this serious threat to the health and well-being of older persons.

Preventing falls is important at any age, but it is especially important for those who have osteoporosis, because their bones are more fragile and easily broken. In many cases, a fall can be precipitated by medicines such as sedatives, muscle relaxants, and blood pressure drugs that can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or loss of balance. When two or more medicines are used in combination, these side effects might be worsened. Falls also result from diminished hearing, vision, muscle strength, coordination, and reflexes, as well as from diseases that affect balance.

Here’s what you can do to reduce the risk of falls of your loved ones:

  • Regular follow-up visits and get proper medical evaluation and treatment for conditions causing physical changes.
  • When clearing up the floor at home, remove all loose wires, cords, and throw rugs. Minimize clutter. Make sure rugs are anchored and smooth. Keep furniture in its usual place.
  • Install grab bars in the shower or next to the toilet.
  • Make sure halls, stairways, and entrances are well-lit. Install a night light in your bathroom.
  • If you have stairs at home, make sure treads, rails, and rugs are secure.

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