Home Safety: Fall Protection

October 31, 2012

Did you know? Bone density isn’t as cut and dry as advertised: it waxes and wanes with the seasons, with altitude (if you move), varies by race, and there isn’t a good standard of comparison (machines that measure bone density aren’t all made the same, and calibration isn’t standard either: your best bet is sticking with the same doctor and machine).

Of course, it is true that bone density can go down with age, and that falls are more likely to lead to fractures, broken bones, and the long term consequences (lack of independence, increased expenses…).

So, going into winter, when bone density is likely thinning out naturally, it’s a good time to talk about fall protection.

Home Safety:

Reduce hazards. Buy some salt to use on ice on your walkways, install handrails, use rugs with slip guards on hardwood floors and linoleum. If you have pets, consider hiring a trainer to teach them not to get under foot.

Personal Health:

Be aware of medications that may cause dizziness, muscle weakness, or other issues that may increase your risk of falling and fractures.

Talk to your doctors about safe forms of exercise and stretching, which can improve strength and balance/coordination so you are less likely to fall.

Continue to get regular eye exams and get your hearing checked if needed.

If fall protection fails, make sure your bones are up to it. If you don’t think you are getting enough Calcium and Vitamin D from your diet (and the sun) be sure to add a supplement as a safety net.

What are other types of fall prevention?

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