McFarland Clinic

Fall Prevention - Tips to Avoid Falls

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January 7, 2020

Older adult couple walking dog

Falls can result in injury and keep you from being independent. Follow these measures to prevent falls, including regular exams and avoiding or eliminating obstacles.

Chances of Falling

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The chances of an older adult falling can be evaluated by that person’s frailty, the condition of being weaker and more delicate due to aging.

McFarland Clinic Neurologist Michael Kitchell, MD said being less agile and less active can make someone frail, increasing their risk of falling. A fall history can also indicate a person’s risk of falling again.

“Someone who has fallen knows it could happen again,” Dr. Kitchell said. “The more falls, the higher the risk.”

How to Prevent Falls

Diet and physical activity are two important things physicians stress to their patients throughout their lifetime.

“Diet and exercise are two of the most important long-term actions we can take to stay healthy and keep from becoming frail, which is the most common problem causing increased risk of falling,” Dr. Kitchell said.

Try these simple measures to help you prevent falls:

  • Annual eye exams

  • Avoid icy walks

  • Eliminate clutter around the house

  • Eliminate throw rugs

  • Wear safe footwear

  • Use nightlights

  • Install grab bars in your home

  • Avoid letting pets get in your way

Risks of Falling

In the event you do fall, it may not always lead to injury. There are risks for seniors, however, including fractured hips and head injuries.

“If an older adult fractures their hip, it can take an average of three weeks in acute care and rehabilitation facilities before going home,” Dr. Kitchell said. “There will be an additional two to four more weeks of physical therapy as an outpatient.”

He said when it comes to head injuries every patient’s healing is different, but some patients may never completely recover.

Get More Information

Talk to your doctor about ways to avoid falls and risks of falling. Schedule an appointment with a McFarland Clinic provider.

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