A Closer Look at Fall Prevention

As we get older, it’s natural to have less energy, and even a reduced sense of balance. When you lose your balance, though, you may fall. Falls are a particular concern for people aged over 65, though it is possible to remain strong and energetic beyond age 65. 

At Victory Sports and Orthopaedic Medicine, we treat many fall victims and often see bruised and broken bones, and in more severe cases, head wounds. Marc Pietropaoli, MD, is a board-certified specialist whose orthopaedic expertise includes treating injuries resulting from falls.   

Dr. Pietropaoli also specializes in fall prevention. To provide the best care to all of his patients, he prioritizes preventative care for all patients, and provides proactive guidance on how to keep yourself and/or your loved one safe and healthy. 

How common are falls? 

Unfortunately, falls are very common. Nearly 1 in 4 older adults report a fall each year, and as the general US population continues to age, falls are likely to become more common. 

What could happen if I fall?

Nearly 36 million falls happen to people 65 and over in the United States. Falls in senior people tend to cause injuries — broken bones are common, with severe falls resulting in brain injury. Injuries like these can prevent a senior person from being able to live alone, or having the independence that they deserve. 

Falls account for half of accidental injuries in seniors, with hundreds of thousands of them resulting in broken hips.  

Skip the fall

In many cases, falls are preventable. Though vigilance is key, there are a number of things that you can do to protect yourself from falls:

Tell Dr. Pietropaoli if you’ve fallen before

Dr. Pietropaoli needs as much information as he can get about your medical history. If you have a documented medical history of falls, particularly in the last six months, he may need additional tests or to consider specific treatment options for you. 

Your medication may also make you more likely to lose your balance, making you more vulnerable to falls. Share any medication and supplements you’re taking during your consultation with the doctor, as they could be the cause of your balance issues. 

Get moving

Regular exercise and a balanced diet are important to keeping your balance, as is staying hydrated. The advantage to exercise is slowly building more strength, which helps you to stay on your feet. Exercises that focus on strengthening your core and legs are important. They maintain your center of gravity and strengthening them helps you keep your balance. 

Fall-proof your home

Granted, there is no way to guarantee that you will never have a fall, but ensuring that your home’s walkways are clean and clutter-free is the best place to start. Move objects off of floors and into cabinets or onto shelves when possible, and don’t forget to clean up any spills. 

Use your tools

If you have a cane, a walker, or any other balance device, use it! Utilizing all of your tools is part of your balance treatment and will help you stay upright. If you’re able to do so, consider adding a bath seat to your shower, which will allow you to sit and bathe comfortably, and don’t forget to use handles when going up and down the stairs. 

Dr. Pietropaoli, and everyone at Victory Sports and Orthopaedic Medicine, is here to help you get on your feet and stay on your feet. If you’ve had a fall, we want to help you, and try to prevent it from happening again. Call us today at 315-303-8352, or book an appointment with us online. 

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