Avoiding Falls

“For a just man falleth seven times, andriseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief” (Proverbs 24:16).
“Two are better than one; because they havea good reward for their labour. For if they fall,the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
A fracture (broken bone) is one of the most common causes of disability, especially in thoseover fifty. We think fractures are simple, but theolder we get, the more time and effort it takes to overcome. After age forty, it can take up to a year after a simple fracture before the arm or leg can be used as normal.

The most severe risk is a broken hip. After the age ofseventy-five, the risk of dyingwithin the next two years is 50%! This means a broken hip can take up to a year to recover. Not only that, your risk of death from all causes is one out of two. The most common reason for fractures in people is a fall. In order to prevent falls, we may need to reorganize our lives. Knowing falls may cost us severely, it is important that we live more carefully.

Physical activity is good for us—not just in terms of staying in shape but also in terms of increasing our balance. The more active we are, the more our balance is supported. This includes regular exercise such as simple walking, cycling, swimming, etc. Arms and legs that are stronger may help us have better balance. Exercises which increase the strength of our core muscles can also prevent falls. Abdomen and back muscles are probably the most important for helping our steadiness. Of the extremity muscles, thighs tend to be good for helping us get around and get out of chairs.

There are even fall prevention classes you can find. These sessions can tell you how to arrange your walk or how to arrange your life. They may also bring you the support of other people trying to live a preventive life. One of the things that a fall prevention class will teach you is to avoid clutter in the walkways in your house, especially where steps are involved. This clutter is not only on the stair steps but also on stair rails or banisters. Also, night lights may be helpful, especially close to the floor. Another important hint is to avoid the use of rugs which can cause you to trip. Making things easier to reach may change the way you organize your bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, or workspace. Dizziness from medications is a common side effect. If you are feeling unsteady, ask your primary care provider whether or not medication might be to blame. Certain medications may cause you to fall while a different medicine may not.

Physical therapy is a possible choice for many people who have had falls. Therapists will assess your risk of falling. They may instruct you about balance, localized strengthening, and assistive devices such as a brace or a cane. On occasion, they may even come to your residence for a “home safety evaluation,” which looks at ways to improve your safety at home.«

|the information contained in these articles is of an instructional nature for general information only. itis not intended to give medical advice or treatment.Before making changes in medication or other habits, consult with your health care practitioner |