Preventing Falls
Monday, January 5, 2009

Falls are not just the result of getting older. They can be caused by a number of things and many can be prevented. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about falls in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Older people who fall can hurt themselves badly. Injuries from a fall can range from bruises and cuts to more serious problems like a broken hip.

The risk of falling increases with age and is greater for women than for men. And two-thirds of those who experience a fall will fall again within six months.

At least one-third of all falls in the elderly involve environmental hazards in the home. Most falls by older people are caused by slick floors, clutter and loose rugs. Other causes are weak muscles, vision trouble, balance problems, dizziness and side effects from medicines.

To reduce your risk of falling at home, make sure you have good lighting in each room, wear shoes with firm, non-skid soles, exercise often, and sit on the side of your bed for about three minutes before you stand up after waking up in the morning. Standing up quickly can make you feel dizzy or lose your balance.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.