Many newsletters ago, we reported on balance and falls. You might recall these facts:
1. One in four people that live at home and are over 65 will fall within the next year.
2. Sixty percent of all falls occur in the home.
3. In the senior population, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.
It isn’t surprising that so many seniors fall if you analyze their life situation. For example, many seniors are on medications, many of which have the side effects of dizziness or disorientation. Many seniors do not participate in any type of regular exercise program, so they are deconditioned as well. They often suffer from arthritis pain, might be overweight and sedentary as well. Considering the above, it becomes readily apparent why falls are so common.
What should a senior do to decrease the risk of falling? Obviously, addressing medication side effects, exercising, and remaining active are important. But if one of your family/friends is planning to retire and purchase a new home consider the following:
In a study in the United Kingdom, researchers concluded that wood floors covered with carpet resulted in a significantly reduced risk of hip fractures in the elderly. They looked at forces generated with impact on carpet-covered wood floors verses other surfaces. The results indicated that if a person lands on a carpet-covered wood floor, the odds of breaking a hip are significantly less and the impact forces were much lower. So if you have a choice, carpetcovered wood floors seem like the right choice.
To help you make informed decisions here are some questions you might ask a surgeon.