A simple fall can change your life. All too often, falling results in injuries such as broken bones, cuts and bruises and the need for hospitalization. According to the CDC unintentional falls are a common occurrence among older adults, affecting approximately 30% of persons aged >65 years of age each year.
Can falling be prevented? Many times falling can be prevented with simple actions such as getting new eyeglasses or adjusting the dose of your medication(s) or starting an exercise program. Your doctor can help determine your risk of falling and give you advice to help you to prevent falling in the future.
What you should tell your doctor:
If you have fallen and describe the circumstances of the fall(s).
If you have any trouble walking or if you ever feel “off balance.”
If you have any weakness or other problems with your legs.
If you use any walking aids, such as a cane or a walker, even if you don’t use it all the time.
Tell your doctor about any vision problems and any other medical problems you may be having.
What can the doctor do? Your doctor can assess your risk of falling by talking with you and performing a simple evaluation. You doctor may want to:
Review your falling history and your medication.
Evaluate your gait (how you walk) and balance.
Examine your vision.
Evaluate your legs how they function and the strenght of them.
Evaluate your cardiovascular status, including heart rate, rhythm and blood pressure.
Review how to use walking aids.
What can I do at home to help to prevent falling? There are four things you can do to prevent falls:
Begin a regular exercise program
Have your health care provider review your medicines