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Orthopaedic

Falls
A fall can change your life. It can lead to disability and a loss of independence. If your bones are fragile from osteoporosis, you could break a bone, often a hip. But aging alone doesn’t make people fall. Diabetes and heart disease affect balance. As do problems with circulation, thyroid or nervous systems. Some medicines make people dizzy. Eye problems or alcohol can be factors. Any of these can make a fall more likely. Taking care of your health by exercising and getting regular eye exams and physicals may help reduce your chance of falling. Getting rid of tripping hazards in your home and wearing nonskid shoes may also help. To reduce the chances of breaking a bone if you do fall, make sure that you get enough calcium and vitamin D.

More than one in three people age 65 years or older fall each year. The risk of falling -- and fall-related problems -- increases with age. Fractures caused by falls can lead to hospital stays and disability. Fall-related fractures are most common in the hip, pelvis, spine, arm, hand, or ankle.

Hip fractures are one of the most serious types of fall injury and are a leading cause of injury and loss of independence, among seniors.
Only half of older adults hospitalized for a broken hip can return home or live on their own after the injury.
If you’re worried about falling, talk with your doctor or another health care provider. You may be referred to a physical therapist. Physical therapy can help you improve your balance and walking and help build your walking confidence. Getting rid of your fear of falling can help you to stay active.
Maintain your physical health, and prevent future falls.
Exercise to improve your balance and strengthen your muscles helps to prevent falls. Not wearing bifocal or multifocal glasses when you walk, especially on stairs, will reduce the risk of a fall. You can also make your home safer by removing loose rugs, adding handrails to stairs and hallways, and making sure you have adequate lighting in dark areas.
Read more about it at:
http://nihseniorhealth.gov/falls/aboutfalls/04.html

 

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