Every year, millions of people are treated in emergency departments across the country for fall injuries. In fact, the fall is the most visited center of trauma at all ages. A fall can put you at risk for serious injury and can be a sign of another health problem.
Here are some simple tips to prevent falls, especially in your home.
The emergency services of the Mayo Clinic treat patients every day who have been injured by falls.
“You can see things as simple as small cuts, bruises and bruises, from broken bones to big head injuries, where you’re bleeding to your brain. There can be several injuries,” says Dr. Neha Raukar, a physician. Mayo Clinic emergencies.
Many of these falls occur at home, and here are some easy things you can do to prevent them. Start by reviewing any medications you are taking with your healthcare team.
“Every time someone receives a medication, they try to find out what the side effects are, especially if they affect your balance or your ability to stay awake,” says Dr. Raukar.
Be aware of any medical conditions that may make you more prone to falls.
“Things like diabetes can cause neuropathy, where you can’t really feel your feet. And so if you can’t feel your feet and you’re walking, you can’t really know if your surface is uneven,” says Dr. . Raukar.
Other in-house tips:
• Wear sensitive shoes instead of slippery socks, high heels or flip flops.
• Eliminate clutter and the danger of tripping over high traffic areas.
• Secure loose carpets with duct tape or non-slip backing.
• Keep your home well lit and place night lights in bedrooms, bathrooms, and hallways.
• Use an assistive device, such as a walker or walking stick, if necessary.
• If you have pets, be aware that they may be on your feet.
“It’s not uncommon to see people who have stumbled upon their dog or cat while they are trying to get out of the way,” says Dr. Raukar.
Stay physically active to avoid future falls. Gentle exercise, such as walking or tai chi, improves strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility. And report all your falls to your healthcare team, even if they seem trivial.
“Sometimes it means something else is going on that needs to be investigated,” says Dr. Raukar.
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