Your Checklist to Prevent Falls and Fractures at Home
One in 3 people over the age of 65 fall each year, and 10-15% of those falls result in a fracture. Of all hip fractures—the most debilitating and potentially fatal form of fractures—90% result from falls.
Despite all other risks for osteoporosis fractures, falling may have the most direct effect. That is why we have created a comprehensive checklist of simple steps you can take to prevent falls.
1. Tidy Up Your Home
- Tuck away loose electric cords and other tripping hazards.
- Remove clutter.
- Secure loose rugs to the floor.
- Purchase non-slip mats for the bathtub or shower.
- Check that all handrails are secure.
- Wear rubber-soled, non-stick slippers or supportive shoes in the house.
2. Be Safe After Dark
- Keep the house well lit, and turn on lights before walking down hallways or into rooms.
- Use nightlights.
- Keep a clear path from your bed to the bathroom.
- Keep a lamp or light switch within reach of your bed.
- If you wear glasses, check that your prescription is up to date.
3. Work on your Balance
- Participate in exercises that improve balance. Consider enrolling in yoga or tai chi classes or enlisting help from a personal trainer or physical therapist. And doing the simple Stork Exercise while you brush your teeth is a convenient way to improve your balance and reduce your risk of falling.
- Include a balance of aerobic and weight-bearing exercise to improve muscle strength and stability.
4. Re-evaluate Medications and Supplements
- Ask your doctor if any of your current medications might cause dizziness, make you drowsy, or increase your risk of falling.
- Supplement vitamin D3. The US Preventive Task Force recommends vitamin D supplementation for fall prevention.
- Should you fall, MK4, calcium and vitamin D have been shown in clinical trials to reduce fracture risk. Osteo-K and Osteo-K Minis both have the dose of MK4 (45 mg/day), plus calcium and vitamin D, shown grow stronger bones and reduce fractures up to 80%.
5. Get Your Zzzzz’s
Nevitt MC, Cummings SR, Hudes ES. Risk factors for injurious falls: a prospective study. J Gerontol. 1991;46(5):M164-70. [article]
Tinetti ME. Clinical practice. Preventing falls in elderly persons. N Engl J Med. 2003;348(1):42-49. [article]
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