Don't Let A Fall Be Your Downfall
Date Posted : 02/20/2012
Falls can be a life changing event, especially for older adults, Dr. Paul DeHaan said as he talked about "Balance and Falling" at a free community health education program held earlier this month at Heritage Woods of McHenry.The Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon has been in McHenry for the past 25 years, taking care of broken bones and worn out hips and knees. He is on staff at Mercy McHenry Medical Center. An estimated 11 million seniors fall each year, he said, and 40% of the admissions to nursing homes are because of falls.Elderly Caucasians and Asians are the ones most risk of falling as are people who take a lot of medications, especially if prescribed by more than one physician; and those living alone. Most falls occur at home.The inability to stand on one foot for five seconds is one of the tell tale sign that a person is at a risk of falling.He offered this advice . . .When it comes to reducing your risk of falling, moderate amounts of exercise can make the biggest difference.Wear shoes that fit properly and have non-skid soles.Make sure that you are getting a proper intake of calcium and Vitamin D.Make sure that staircases are free of clutter, that there are handrails on both side of the stairs; and that there is adequate lighting so you can clearly see the steps.Use non-skid rugs. Keep a nightlight on in the bathroom to help you see. Don’t lock the bathroom door because a locked door makes it more difficult for someone to help you if you should fall.Before you get out of bed, sit on the edge of the bed for a little bit of time to reduce the risk of getting dizzy when you stand.If you should fall, try to fall sideways to protect your head. Do not try to get up if you are, or if think you are, injured so you don’t risk further injury. Call for help. If you are going to try to get up, take a few deep breaths first. Make sure you are okay. If possible, crawl over to the nearest strong and steady piece of furniture and use it to provide support. Slowly begin to rise.
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