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Preventing Falls and Hip Fracture

Preventing Falls and Hip Fracture
Preventing Falls and Hip Fracture

Preventing Falls and Hip FractureA hip fracture can be quite a debilitating injury. It may leave you bedridden and dependent on others for most activities of daily living. A higher risk for developing a hip fracture occurs in the following categories:

  • Elderly: Hip fractures are a common occurrence in elderly people who sustain a minor fall. This is because bone density starts decreasing after the age of 25-30 and by the time most people have reached their 50s and 60s, their bones are quite brittle.
  • Women: Women experience significant bone loss after menopause because of the dramatic changes in their hormones leaving them more prone to hip fractures. About 75% of all hip fractures occur in women.
  • Osteoporosis: Those with this disease have bones that are extremely porous and can easily fracture with minor trauma.
  • Medications: Those who take blood pressure medication, heart pills, diuretics, muscle relaxers, or tranquilizers have a higher risk of fracture.
  • Alcoholics: Heavy drinking slows down reflexes, alters balance, and encourages risky behavior – all which increases your chances of falling and breaking your bones.
  • Height: Being tall appears to increase a risk for sustaining a hip fracture.

Statistics indicate that fall-related injuries are the leading cause of death in Americans above the age of 65. Less than half the people who survive a hip fracture are able to regain previous level of function. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent falls and hip fractures.

Outdoor Safety:

  • When the weather is bad, use a cane or a walker for added stability
  • Use footwear that provides proper traction such as those with rubber soles
  • Observe the floor surfaces carefully. Try to avoid highly polished surfaces to decrease your risk of slipping and stay on carpeted surfaces as far as possible
  • Be cautious at curbs, check their height and incline before stepping off or on them

Indoor safety:

  • Keep your floor clutter free
  • Be mindful of differences in room levels
  • Avoid wearing socks which increases your chances of slipping
  • Keep the stairways well lit
  • Use carpets that have a skid proof backing
  • Install grab bars and rubber mats in your bathroom and toilet
  • Keep a flashlight beside your bed so you never have to get up in the dark

In addition to the above-mentioned safety tips, healthy eating and regular exercise will help keep you fit and flexible enough to get what you want out of life without compromising on your safety.

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