I am in my early 70’s, active and in good shape. Last week while walking through the park, I took a spill and scraped my leg. I don’t exactly know why I fell. Is this common for adults and should I see my doctor?
As we get older, physical changes, health conditions and sometimes even the medications we’re taking make falling more likely. While the fear of falling doesn’t need to rule your ... read more
As we get older, physical changes, health conditions and sometimes even the medications we’re taking make falling more likely. While the fear of falling doesn’t need to rule your life, you should make an appointment to see your doctor. He or she can best determine if this was a random occurrence caused by the terrain or if there is a greater likelihood you will fall again. Being physically active can go a long way to preventing falls by keeping your strength, balance and coordination at its peak. I also recommend anyone over the age of 65 begin a fall prevention plan by seeing a physician. Here are a few other tips to prevent a fall:
Wear the right shoes – High heels, flip flops and shoes with slick soles can make you slip, stumble and fall. So can walking in your socks. Choose lace-up shoes instead of slip-ons. If you have trouble tying laces, select footwear with fabric fasteners. Also, replace old worn out slippers with a proper fitting pair with nonskid soles.
Have regular eye exams – Age-related vision diseases can increase the risk of falling. Cataracts and glaucoma can alter depth perception, visual acuity, peripheral vision and susceptibility to glare. Young people use visual cues to perceive an imminent fall and take corrective action. Older adults with visual impairments do not have this advantage to the same extent.
Make your home safer – More than a third of all falls happen at home and involve things like tripping over objects on the floor, loose rugs, poor lighting, and those icy sidewalks we experience every winter. Take whatever steps you can to create a safer home environment, including the addition of handrails if needed.
Stay active – Failure to exercise regularly results in poor muscle tone, decreased strength, and loss of bone mass and flexibility, which can contribute to falls and intensify the severity of injury.
Regulate your vitamin intake – Reduce your risk for injuries from a fall by maintaining the appropriate amounts of vitamin D and calcium in your diet. Your physician can help you determine what will work best for you.