Public education to help prevent the elderly from falling inside the home has been successful but new studies point to a misstep. There’s not enough education about preventing falls outside.
For example, in one study, up to 72 per cent of outside falls occurred among middle aged adults. That means people in their 40s, who were more likely to be men who described themselves as fast walkers. And beyond the flesh wounds, head injuries and fractures these victims experienced, many say they have fears about falling again.
Research also shows that:
Indoor falls are more likely to be associated with inactivity and a greater number of health problems, while
Outdoor falls are more likely
to be associated with higher levels of activity and average or better-than-
So, what to do about falls prevention?
A shortlist for indoor prevention:
- Consult your pharmacist about ways to make your home safer
- If you take medication, sit down with your pharmacist for a Medscheck
A shortlist for outdoor prevention:
- Consult your pharmacist about possible ways to help you outside
- Choose footwear designed for the season
- Consult your optometrist about wearing single vision glasses
- Be cautious around curbs and stairs
- Avoid looking at your cellphone while walking
- Be aware that parking lots and garages rank as common fall locations