Preventing Falls in Elderly

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Falls in the elderly can result in hip fractures, head injuries or even death. In many cases, those who have experienced a fall have a hard time recovering and their overall health deteriorates. Dr. Edward Hill discusses fall prevention in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Falls are not just the result of getting older and many falls can be prevented. Falls can have a number of causes. By changing some of these things, you can lower your chances of falling.

All older adults should participate in regular exercise to improve balance and strength. One useful activity is Tai Chi, which increases flexibility, posture and strength.

Also, all older adults should review their medications with their physician. Poor vision has also been linked to falling; so all older adults should have regular vision checkups.

The Centers for Disease Control has published a checklist to fall-proof your home.

h Remove rugs or firmly fasten them to the floor.

h Move furniture so the path is clear.

h Clear the floor of electrical wires by coiling them.

h Keep areas well lit.

h Place working handrails on both sides of stairs and grab bars next to the toilet or inside the bathtub.

h Move items on high shelves to cabinets.

h Wear shoes with firm nonskid soles; avoid wearing loose-fitting slippers.

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