September 28, 2015 | Categories for this post are: Volume 5
Falls mean >>>>> fractures, disability, loss of independence, decreased self-respect, lack of confidence and social embarrassment.
Preventing falls means >>>>> preventing hospitalization, social isolation and depression.
Physicians should rule out other causes which may be responsible for falls such as arthritis, cardiac arrhythmias, postural hypotension, visual impairment, and medication including use of benzodiazepines, focal weakness, peripheral neuropathy, normal pressure hydrocephalus, and vertigo and seizures.
The following strategies may help to prevent falls:
Using foot wear which is well fitted and has good support.
Leather soled shoes are usually better and ice grips should be used in the winter.
Avoiding high heels is important in women.
Keeping adequate lighting in stairways and hallways.
Stairways should have handrails, keeping walker close to the bed at night and maintaining outdoor steps in good condition and free of ice is helpful.
Carpeted floors might soften a fall and prevent fractures.
Having a telephone on every level of the house and an alarm bracelet where one can push and call 911.
Home safety assessments, occupational therapists usually come home and provide suggestions to make the toilet, bedroom and stairways safe.
Non-slip bath tubs and floor mats should be used in the bathroom. Bath bench and hand rails are also helpful.
Showering and dressing or undressing should be done while sitting down.
Having someone to accompany the patient is always safe. The bathroom doors should not be locked while having a bath.
Dr. Bashir Alenazi, Consultant Department of Orthopedics, Prince Sultan Military Medical City Riyadh, Saudi Arabia