As you get older, the risk of falling increases. The effects of aging can make it more difficult to keep your balance. About 3 to 4 out of 10 people over the age of 65 fall every year and up to 75% of those who suffer a hip fracture never fully recover to their pre-injured state.
Things that can increase the risk of a fall include: a previous fall, an illness, a change in medications, and or an unsafe/unfamiliar setting.
What to talk to your doctor about:
Past falls – make sure you let your doctor know if you’ve had a fall in the past, so they can suggest ways to prevent another one.
Health conditions – some health conditions that affect eyesight, hearing, muscle strength or balance can put you at risk for falls.
Medications – Review your medications with your doctor.Certain ones can increase your risk for falls, which can include those used for sleep problems, anxiety and depression.Switching medications and doses can also affect your risk.
What can you do to stay safe?
Make your home safe – Remove clutter, loose rugs, and move electrical cords and furniture.Make sure you have adequate lighting, and avoid storing things in high places to avoid reaching too high or climbing.
Wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes – avoid high heels, slippery soles, bare feet/socks only, and loose-fitting shoes, which can increase your risk for falls.
Stay active – try activities that help with both strength and balance, such as swimming, walking, and Tai Chi.
Use your safety devices – If a doctor recommends the use of a cane or walker, make sure you know how to use it.Other safety devices could include grab bars, a sturdy shower chair, non-slip bath mats, and hand rails for the stairs.There are also alarm buttons that call for help if you fall and can’t get up.
What if you do fall? See your doctor right away even if you think you aren’t hurt. Your doctor can examine you, what caused you to fall, and discuss ways to avoid another fall.
Reference: Up to Date