One of the most common causes for fractures in seniors is from falls. Falls are the leading cause of hospitalization and in some cases can lead to total disability or even death. The best way to avoid falls is by preventing them in the first place.
The major reasons for falls are:
Side effects from medication
Almost three quarters of those over the age of 55 take at least one prescription medication and most take many more than that. Some medications are more likely to cause falls than others and these are:
- Sedatives which are used to help improve sleep
- Antidepressants which are taken for anxiety and depression
- Narcotics taken for pain
- NSAIDS which help with swelling
All of these drugs and more can blur vision, cause dizziness and make you feel lightheaded.
Poor vision can often lead to falls. If you have a problem judging distances or with depth perception it may be difficult for you to see contrasts between colors. This can lead to problems walking. Bi-focal lenses can increase this difficulty so if you have to, splurge on two pair of glasses; one pair for up close tasks and another pair for when you are walking or outdoors.
Tripping hazards in your home
For the elderly and those with certain disabilities, keeping floors, doorways and stairs clear of clutter is a must.
- Get rid of any throw rugs which you could trip over or slip on as you walk on them.
- Keep food and water bowls for pets under a table or tucked into a corner.
- All electrical cords should be tucked away.
- Keep the lighting in your house bright and use nightlights at night.
- Stairways and entrances should be well lit.
Also consider an assistive device for stairs like StairSteady.
Preventing falls is one of the best ways to take care of your health as well as the health of your loved ones. To read the full article on the reasons for falls and how to prevent them, click here.