Have You Experienced a Fall?
If you are over 65 you have likely either already taken a tumble or spent time worrying about doing so. Falling is scary, particularly if you live alone. It’s important to be proactive to decrease your risk of falling with appropriate lifestyle changes, education about fall prevention, and effective medication management.
Common Causes of Falls
- Lower body weakness
- Problems balancing or walking.
- Hazards in your home such as loose throw rugs, uneven steps, floor clutter, or the lack of handrails in the bathroom or staircase
- Foot pain or inappropriate footwear
- Vision issues
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Medications such as tranquilizers, sedatives, heart medicine, and/or psychotropic drugs
How to Decrease Your Risk of Falling
- Ask your doctor to assess your risk of falling.
- Participate in a balance or exercise program to build flexibility and strength.
- Discuss medications and possible interactions with your physician or pharmacist, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements.
- Check your vision and hearing every year.
- Wear properly fitted and comfortable shoes appropriate for your lifestyle
- Make your home safe: eliminate floor clutter, install grab bars and railings in the bathroom and by stairs, add proper lighting, secure throw rugs to the floor, and place frequently used items within easy reach.
- Falls, or even fears about falling, threaten our safety and independence. Many people worry about falling and limiting their activities and social engagements as a result. Decreasing interaction with others can lead to isolation and depression.
Stats Related to the Risk of Falling
Falls among seniors are a significant public health concern, and understanding the statistics related to the risk of falling is important for preventing injuries and improving the quality of life for older adults.
It’s quite common for our older loved ones to experience slips and falls. About 1 in 4 people aged 65 or older will have a fall each year.
Just like how we gain wisdom with age, the risk of falling unfortunately tends to increase as we get older.
Sometimes, these falls can lead to more than just a bruise. They might result in broken bones, head injuries, or even worse.
Men vs. Women:
Ladies might be more likely to take a tumble, but gentlemen are more likely to have fatal falls.
Chronic conditions like arthritis or diabetes can throw us off balance. It’s like navigating a rocky path.
Some of the medicines we take can make us feel a bit woozy. It’s essential to be mindful of how our medications affect us.
Once Bitten, Twice Shy:
If we’ve had a fall before, it’s more likely to happen again. But don’t worry; we can take steps to prevent it.
Falling can be scary, and that fear can make us less active. But staying active is vital for our well-being, so let’s not let fear hold us back.
Prevention is the Best Medicine:
We can make our homes safer, exercise regularly, get our eyes checked, and work closely with our healthcare providers to reduce the risk of falling.
Costs and Care:
Falls can be costly, not just in terms of money but also in terms of the care and support needed for recovery.
We’re all in this together, and there are plenty of ways to help our seniors stay safe and active. Whether it’s installing handrails, going for a walk together, or simply having a chat about medications, small actions can make a big difference in preventing falls and keeping our loved ones healthy and happy.
The Bottom Line:
Do not wait until you fall to take action! Take good care of yourself and your health to avoid becoming one of the statistics. It may be a good idea to enlist support from friends and family to help you lower your risk of falling.
About the Author: Deepa Pattani
Deepa Pattani, PhD is the Pharmacist-in-charge/Owner at Allen Pharmacy & Wellness, a full-service retail pharmacy providing individualized patient care. Dr. Pattani is also the owner of PrevInteract Health, a pharmacy consulting company focused on helping individuals taking 3 or more medications prevent drug-drug, drug-food, and drug-supplement interactions to decrease necessary hospitalizations. Contact Dr. Pattani at 972-372-9775 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allen Pharmacy and Wellness is located at 945 W Stacy Rd, Suite 110, Allen, TX 75013. AllenPharmacyWellness.com
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