Did you know that unintentional falls are the leading cause of nonfatal emergency department visits in people over the age of 65? We realize that information may make some of you feel a bit anxious but there are many things you can do reduce the chances of becoming part of that statistic.
To that end, your friends at Your Family Medical’s geriatric medicine Lewisville TX department (locations also in Bedford, Benbrook, Boyd and Justin) have put together a small guide to fall prevention.
What Causes Falls?
Just as with many topics we address here, there is not just one answer to this question. Each patient’s specific fall risk is higher or lower depending on their own unique life circumstances. However, some causes are more common than others. A few of the most common causes of falls include:
- Medical conditions (i.e.: vision problems, vitamin deficiencies, vertigo)
- Foot, leg and/or hip injuries or weaknesses
- Certain medications
- Vision problems
- Environmental hazards or clutter
If you are 65 or older, we highly recommend scheduling an appointment with your doctor to assess and discuss your specific fall risks. He or she can help you create a plan to mitigate fall risk. We have several Lewisville doctors accepting new patients (locations also in Benbrook, Bedford, Boyd and Justin). Call today to schedule your first appointment!
Reducing Fall Risks Inside Your Home
One of the simplest ways to prevent falls is to address the fall risks in your home environment. This may include modifying personal habits as well as the function and flow of your house and yard. Some specific recommendations include:
- Wear non-skid, well-fitting shoes outside and inside
- Always keep walkways clear of clutter
- Have grab bars installed in your shower area
- Clean up spills immediately
- Integrate strengthening and balance exercises into your daily routine
- Keep all areas well-lit
Have a friend or family member walk through your home and yard with you to help identify and resolve risks. You may also need to consider what risks your pet(s) may or may not pose and create a plan for keeping you and your fur-family both safe!
Reducing Fall Risks Out & About
Leaving your home poses a whole different set of risks, many of which are out of your control. Thankfully, there are still factors you can control which will incorporate safety into your outings. Consider:
- Using a walker or cane
- Bringing a partner who can help
- Taking your time
- Avoid going out in inclement weather
- Have your vision checked regularly and use the right vision correction tools if applicable
The goal of Geriatric medicine here at Your Family Medical is to keep you healthy, active, and independent. Our Geriatricians strive to ensure that patients over the age of 60 maintain their highest quality of life possible. Our specialists can provide you with the total care necessary if your health becomes complex. We can use our knowledge in medical conditions and medications to cultivate a personalized health plan that works for you. We want to help you feel your best so you can be your best for as long as possible.