Did you know that a broken hip can increase the risk of death for an older adult? The US Department of Health and Human Services is concerned because the number of older adults who die after a fall is increasing. From 2012-2013, over 50% of all unintentional deaths in this population was attributed to a fall. That’s approximately 46,000 deaths in one year! All for something that could have been prevented! Many people wrongly believe that, as we age, falling is unavoidable. It may seen simple, but preventing a fall requires more information than you’d think. Here are a few things to consider to avoid potentially life-threatening falls:
- Get moving: Exercise is one of the best methods to avoid muscle and bone breakdown. Make sure your routine includes both balancing and strengthening exercises. Balance and strength can be learned, practiced and improved at any age. And, luckily, it does not take long to reap the benefits. Alliance Homecare’s personal physical therapy assessment can help you get started!
- Don’t forget the D: We know calcium makes our bones dense and strong, but without Vitamin D our bones are unable to absorb that calcium. A vitamin D blood level less than 10ng/mL creates brittle bones and puts the older adult at greater risk for falls. Supplementation is recommended for all older adults. Make sure you’re getting 1000IU daily.
- Look Around: Many falls occur in the home. Studies show that having someone assess an older adult’s living situation significantly lowered the risk of falls. A trained professional can detect potential threats ranging from furniture to footwear that the normal eye may miss.
When it comes to preventing falls for the older adult, each case is unique. Many people feel embarrassed about falling, but the best method of prevention is to have an open discussion with a healthcare provider. Even if a fall does not result in injury, it should never be kept secret. Walking the walk AND talking the talk is truly good advice.
To create your individualized fall prevention plan, contact the home-care experts at http://alliancehomecare.com/contact-us/.