Some falls only hurt your pride, but did you know that they can also cause serious injuries to your bones and brain when you are over the age of 65? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that one out of four people of this age fall per year, with fewer than half reporting the fall to their medical professional.
As you grow older, understanding the risk of a bad fall may help you reduce the risk of such an event and protect your health.
The effects of a fall
When you are 65 years of age or older, the effects of a fall can increase exponentially for each year you grow older. There are many consequences that could have far-reaching physical issues, including:
- Hip fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Reduced activity/range of motion
The risk of hip injuries are especially high, and nearly 100% of these fractures occur when you fall sideways and land on a hard surface. Once you fracture a hip, you may suffer from reduced motion, an increased risk of a second fall and balance issues.
You can safeguard your health by working to prevent falls. Working with your doctor and asking him or her to evaluate your risk may help you understand which situations to avoid, such as walking on uneven pavement, exercising extreme caution during the winter when paths and floors are more likely to cause you slip and having your vision checked at least once a year.
You can also protect yourself at home by installing railings to assist you in the shower and along hallways if needed. You can upgrade these items as needed or as your physician recommends.