Fractures And The Elderly: Tips For Prevention
Most of us have heard about an older person who has had a fall and broken a hip, and while it is, of course, unfortunate, it’s actually a lot more serious than it sounds. It’s one of the top causes of injury-related deaths in people over sixty-five, many of which never making it out of the hospital after their fall. Prevention is crucial, here are some of the ways you can prevent falls and fractures in older adults.
Preventing/ Treating Osteoporosis
The reason falls can be so devastating in older people is due to the condition osteoporosis. As we age, our bones can begin to lose tissue making them weaker and more brittle. The more brittle the bone, the more devastating the fall or any injury is going to be. Therefore prevention where possible is always useful. You can begin as early as childhood building up your bones through a healthy diet and exercise, but starting late is better than never.
Include plenty of calcium and vitamin D in your diet to help build strong bones. This can help to slow down bone loss, and in some cases even rebuild bone density if you are already suffering from the condition. Taking a supplement to ensure you’re meeting your daily recommended allowances can also be helpful.
It can sometimes be a struggle knowing what advice to listen to since there is conflicting information out there. For example, Strontium side effects were thought to be an increase in fractures. However, it’s now suggested that it does the opposite and helps with preventing them! Do your research and speak to your doctor if you’re unsure. Stronger bones mean if you do a have a fall it’s less likely to be as severe, so this is a very important step.
Making Equipment Safer
Older adults who are experiencing mobility issues will use aids and equipment to help them through their day to day lives. Walkers, walking sticks, lifting devices and adapted bathrooms when used incorrectly or not designed well can all be dangerous and cause more harm than good. Thoroughly research all equipment and make sure it’s suitable for you and your specific health conditions before purchasing or using. Make sure you know how to use it properly, ideally having a demonstration for you and your carers if you have one. This will ensure that no accidents or injuries happen as a result of misuse.
Fall- Proofing Homes and Nursing Homes
Other ways homes can be made safer include making sure clutter is cleared away. If you struggle cleaning by yourself, employing a maid or a carer means that the housework is kept on top of. Making sure footwear fits correctly is another way to prevent slips and trips, and making sure floor coverings are in good condition. Warped wood, peeling vinyl and loose carpet can all pose a tripping hazard.