Falls are bad for everyone, but it is a reality for people with osteoporosis struggle. If you have osteoporosis or low bone density, also known as osteopenia, it’s very crucial to prevent accidents. If you fall, your bones are more likely to break because they are weaker.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 14th February 2022.
An Osteoporosis Struggle: Preventing Falls At Home
If you’re 65 or older, you should be aware that one out of every three persons in this age group dies each year, with the chances increasing with each decade. However, if you take the proper precautions, you can protect yourself. Living with an osteoporosis struggle makes you more vulnerable to your environment. Therefore, putting an effort to make the space safer will help tremendously.
Make Your Home Safe
Half of all falls which is an osteoporosis struggle occur at home, yet the hazards that cause them are simple to identify and eliminate.
Make sure your pathways and stairwells are clear. You might trip over objects like shoes, books, and low decorative objects like vases and baskets.
- Make sure your pathways and stairwells are clear. You might trip over objects like shoes, books, and low decorative objects like vases and baskets.
- To hold your rugs in place, use an adhesive. Small throw rugs, which might easily slide and cause you to fall, should be avoided.
- Place non-slip mats at the bottom of the bathtub or on the shower floor. Wet surfaces are hazardous.
- Install and utilise railings on your stairwells. Grab bars may be installed in your shower stall and next to your toilet.
- Make sure that your home is well-lit. Even if you’re just passing by, turn on the lights anytime you expect to be in a room or passageway. Also, have a flashlight with fresh batteries next to your bed.
- Store frequently used things (such as cooking materials) in low, easy-to-reach locations. If you have to reach for something high up or use a stool, you’re more likely to fall.
- Avoid wearing slippers, stockings, or socks when walking about. Also, avoid going barefoot. Instead, choose comfy, low-heeled shoes with rubber soles. They may prevent you from sliding on slippery surfaces such as tile and hardwood floors.
- If the sidewalk is wet or icy, walk on the grass instead. Don’t take a risk, even if you’re not sure.
- If it’s dark or dull outdoors, put on the lights before taking a stroll. If it will be dark when you get home, leave them on.
- On slick or snowy sidewalks sprinkle salt or cat litter. This will increase your traction and prevent you from sliding.
- Use a cane or walker if necessary. Take your doctor’s advice if they think it’s a good idea. Also, if you’re feeling unsteady, pay attention to your body.
- Before stepping onto or off a sidewalk, check the curb height. Be aware that unexpected events might lead to falls.
Staying Healthy Can Help
Living with an osteoporosis struggle, it is better to make the following healthy practices a part of your daily routine:
- Get out and about. Muscles get stronger as a result of exercise. It is critical to strengthen your legs and core (your back and stomach). Consider visiting a physical therapist if you’re new to exercising or have balance issues. Tai chi and yoga are two exercises that might help you enhance your balance and strength.
- Keep track of your medications. Some blood pressure medications, heart medications, water pills, muscle relaxants, sleeping pills, and other medications might produce dizziness or drowsiness, which may lead to a fall. Discuss all of your drugs and supplements with your doctor or pharmacist, as well as how to manage them. When taken together, some of these may induce tiredness and other issues that they wouldn’t cause if taken separately.
- Have your eyes examined at least once a year. It’s challenging to navigate securely when you have poor eyesight. Wearing the correct prescription glasses or contacts might help you see better and prevent mishaps.
- Make sure you’re getting enough calcium and vitamin D. this help prevent fractures by slowing bone loss. A woman over the age of 50 needs 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day, as well as 600 IU (international units) of vitamin D. You require 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 600 IU (international units) of D every day if you’re a male over 50. Consult your doctor about how to get to those figures.
- Take your time. You’re more likely to fall if you’re rushing to answer the phone or use the restroom. Please take your time.
- Don’t overindulge in alcoholic beverages. It might delay your reflexes and make maintaining your balance more difficult. It may also make you dizzy or tired, impair your judgment, and cause certain medicines to operate differently or less well.
- Cameron, I., BMJ, February 2002.
- Harvard Medical School: “Osteopenia: When you have weak bones, but not osteoporosis."
- CDC: “Preventing Falls Among Older Adults," “What You Can Do to Prevent Falls."
- Jane W. McCabe, occupational therapist and certified ageing-in-place specialist, Orange County, CA.
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: “What Are Ways to Prevent Falls and Related Fractures?"
- National Institute on Aging: “Osteoporosis: Improving Your Bone Health."