According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths due to falls have been on the rise for the elderly. Research has identified many conditions that contribute to falling. These are called risk factors. Many risk factors can be changed or modified to help prevent falls. They include:
- Lower body weakness
- Not enough vitamin D in your system
- Difficulties with walking and balance
- Use of medicines, such as tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants. Even some over-the-counter medicines can affect balance and how steady you are on your feet.
- Vision problems
- Foot pain or poor footwear
- Home hazards or dangers such as
- broken or uneven steps, and
- throw rugs or clutter that can be tripped over.
Most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling, but falls can be prevented.
First, keep yourself active! A healthy, moving, physically fit body has better balance and more strength. Second, talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about falling. They can also look over your medications and see if there are any that put you more at risk for a fall. Third, take a good hard look around your house and get rid or repair anything that would make it easier to trip you up. A person who is prepared and aware will be less likely to take a tumble!