A worrisome fact: the majority of fall injuries among older people occur inside the home.  More than 40% of people hospitalized from hip fractures do not return home again to live independently.

As we get older we are more susceptible to falling because of several natural changes that occur with aging: decrease in vision, muscle weakness, slower balance reactions.

Be proactive: you can only prevent a fall before it happens!   Four components of fall prevention are mentioned below.

*Regular exercise- for coordination, balance, strength, and flexibility

*Safe walking and movement habits-  for example, use a professionally fitted ambulation aid, avoid reaching while leaning over, wear footwear with a tread.

*Medication changes- medication may contribute to lack of alertness or weakness; review often with your physician.

*Home environment modifications- install automatic nightlights, use cordless phones, and TOSS OUT THOSE THROW RUGS!

NOTE: This is an excerpt of a seminar held at Nazareth House by Kirsten Dumford, Physical Therapist, and Karen Smith, Occupational Therapist.  The complete article can be emailed to you by requesting from Lynetta at lynettam@nazarethhousesr.com.