Falls are the primary cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans, affecting thousands of people 65 and older. According to the Vail Health Foundation, over one-third of people fall, resulting in serious injuries like broken bones and traumatic brain injuries. In addition, as we age, our bones become weaker and brittle, making us more likely to break a bone.
Conditions That Contribute to Falls
You don’t need to live in fear of falling. By taking the right precautions and improving your strength and balance, you can better prevent yourself from falls. Several situations can increase a person’s risk of falling. Fortunately, they are things that can usually be eliminated or modified with planning. Contributing factors to a higher risk of falling are:
- Lower body weakness
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Difficulties with walking and balance
- Use of medicines, such as tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants. Even some over-the-counter medicines can affect balance.
- Vision problems
- Foot pain or poor footwear
- Home hazards or dangers such as:
- Broken or uneven steps
- Throw rugs
- Clutter that can cause trips
- Electrical cords
- Using ladders or step stools
How To Prevent Falls
Knowing the risk factors and having a plan to ensure your risk factors are minimal is critical to preventing falls. Improving your strength, balance, and cognition with Exercise can help reduce your risk of falling. It’s important to stay active and maintain good balance, especially as you get older. Exercises that improve your overall strength, which will help keep your muscles strong and support healthy bones, are helpful. In addition to enhancing stability, balance and coordination exercises may also improve the overall quality of life for older adults, including memory and spatial cognition.
For example, tai chi is an excellent exercise for improving balance because it incorporates gentle movements on the joints and tendons but still challenging enough to build strength in all body parts. Tai chi also requires coordination from both sides of the body, working together at once, which helps improve focus and concentration. Exercises like these can also be adapted for people with disabilities if needed (for example, by using an exercise band). Practicing exercises that will strengthen your hips is another great way to help prevent falling. There are several options that are friendly to all ages, such as standing hip abductors, hip circles, knee to chest stretch, butterfly stretch, and more. The stronger your hips are, the more balance and stability you will have.
Limiting your activities and staying home won’t prevent you from a fall. The opposite is true: six out of every ten falls happen at home. Staying physically active will help you remain independent and increase your strength.
Make Your Home Safer
There are several ways to make your home safer and less likely to cause a fall.
- Examine your home for possible hazards and eliminate any items that could make you trip, e.g., throw rugs, electrical cords in walkways, etc.
- Store items you frequently use in cabinets and drawers you can reach without using a step stool.
- Place railings on both sides of stairs.
- Make sure your home has good lighting by adding more lights or brighter light bulbs.
- Install grab bars inside and outside your tub or shower and next to the toilet.
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
Talk to Your Healthcare Provider
Ask your healthcare provider to evaluate your risks of falling and talk with them about specific things you can do. In addition, talk with them about incorporating vitamin D supplements into your daily routine.
It’s also essential to visit your eye doctor annually for an eye exam to be sure your prescription is current.
Also, talk with your doctor or pharmacist to ask them to review your medications — prescription and over-the-counter medicines — to identify any that might make you dizzy or sleepy.
Ready when you need us
Regardless of what type of medical situation you may be facing, Community First ER is here to help. There’s no need to make an appointment, and you won’t have to wait. Our board-certified physicians and nurses will always be ready to see you. We understand that emergencies aren’t always convenient, which is why we do everything we can to make your experience with us as hassle-free as possible. From the moment you arrive at Community First ER to the moment you leave us our compassionate and knowledgeable staff will take care of you or your family member appropriately. If your condition warrants transportation to a local hospital, we can easily arrange this using our ambulance and helipad services. Our 9,000 square foot facility includes an onsite lab, radiology, and imaging services and is equipped to provide adult, pediatric, and adolescent emergency and critical care. We strive to provide the most effective and most efficient medical care in a stress-free and comfortable environment.
We are here to help
At Community First ER, we are committed to providing you the best possible care now and always. With adult and pediatric emergency care available, we have a team of board-certified medical and surgical specialists we consult to help manage our patients and their medical emergencies. We form relationships with local doctors to ensure that our patients have access to the best specialists for their individual needs. You can call ahead and discuss your symptoms at any time.
We are Community First Emergency Room – committed to putting your community, health, and YOU FIRST, every day.
If you are a loved one experiencing an urgent or emergency medical issue, please contact us right away at 281-343-3134.
About Community First ER
Emergency health care is a critical resource. Our commitment is to provide a personal, transparent, and concierge-driven emergency health care experience to our community members. Locally owned and operated by health care providers and partners we trust, we strive to support and create meaningful relationships with those around us. We exist to put your health and wellness first. For more information, visit our website at https://communityfirster.com/ and engage with us on social media!