Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Thomas DiStefano
McLeod Orthopaedics Cheraw
Everybody falls. Every year one in three older Americans fall. For people aged 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of fractures and fatal injuries. More than 90% of hip fractures are caused by a fall, according to the National Hospital Discharge Survey and women account for 75% of all hip fractures.
“Falls can happen to anyone, no matter what your age,” says McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Thomas DiStefano. “Yet, as we grow older the chance of falling increases, as does the chance of a fall resulting in broken bones or hip fractures. Prevention falls into two areas: one, things you can do to keep your bones healthy and two, steps to create a fall-free home.”
KEEPING YOUR BONES HEALTHY
Taking your vitamins and exercising daily will combine to help keep your bones healthy. Calcium and Vitamin D help build and strengthen bones. Check with your personal physician about any side effects of or interactions with your current medications.
Simple exercise, such as walking, hiking, climbing stairs, dancing and weight training will help you maintain muscle strength along with balance and coordination.
Smoking can cause your bones to weaken. Alcohol slows your reflexes and alters your balance. Be sure to drink plenty of water, because lack of water along with a poor diet, robs you of strength and energy, impairing your movement.
KEEPING YOUR HOME FALL-FREE
Many fractures happen in your most familiar place – at home. Here’s some tips to keep your home safe:
OTHER ACTION YOU CAN TAKE
Tell your personal physician if you your balance is unsteady or you are having trouble performing daily tasks. Request a bone density test. Or seek the advice of an orthopedic specialist.
Find an Orthopedic Specialist near you.
Sources include: McLeod Health, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, National Council on Aging, National Institutes of Health