Bone fractures in the elderly are a significant threat, often because changes in gait and balance can occur as people age. Since a simple fall can lead to significant injury and bleeding risk, it is important for you to be proactive in preventing falls.
Eat A Bone Strengthening Diet
As you grow older, bone demineralization can become a significant problem, especially for post-menopausal women. It is important to increase your daily intake of nutrient-rich foods containing calcium and vitamin D. In addition to taking a multivitamin containing all or most of your nutrient needs, find dietary sources. Incorporate more dairy products, such as adding milk or cream to your morning coffee, oatmeal, or breakfast cereal. If you like cottage cheese or yogurt, plan to eat one serving each day as a snack or dessert. For people who are lactose intolerant or do not eat animal products, there are many dairy alternatives for cottage cheese, yogurt, and ice cream that are fortified with nutrients.
Tackle Common Fall Hazards
Look throughout your home and pinpoint common areas where falls are likely to occur. Make sure area rugs or welcome mats near the door are flat against the floor. If these items tend to slip around when walked on, add rubberized grips to the underside of rugs and mats to help them stay in place. The bathroom is one of the most hazardous areas. Use bath mats that are designed to be placed inside the tub to prevent slipping and make sure the floor remains dry. If necessary, install hand rails near the bathtub and toilet for added support. If you cannot modify your residence, consider hand rails that use suction cups to remain in place. These will not cause damage to the wall and can be moved as needed.
Dress For Safety And Comfort
The clothing you choose can also contribute to accidents. Make sure pants, skirts, and dresses are at the appropriate length so you cannot step on them. Before selecting clothing to purchase, walk around and see if an item is too long or otherwise causes your foot to become entangled in the fabric. One way to avoid this problem is to select pants that have tapered or straight legs and dresses/skirts that fit closer to the body without being restrictive. Shoes are another concern that can pose a fall risk. Avoid shoes with heels. Stick to flat shoes with adequate foot support and a firm sole. If you have difficulties bending down to tie your shoes, it is better to wear shoes that do not require laces. Before wearing any pair of new shoes outside your home, try them around the house to ensure they are comfortable and do not create problems with balancing.
Reducing falls among the elderly is often a matter of avoiding common hazards. In addition to minimizing falls, having stronger bones can reduce the likelihood of a simple fall turning into a serious fracture. Contact a therapist, like Ultimate Sports, for more help.