Bones can lose density with age making them more likely to break when having a fall. Loss in bone density and quality can also occur due to certain medical conditions (ex. rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) and certain medications (ex. prednisone). This bone weakening can progress to osteoporosis, requiring prescription treatment to reduce the risk of a fracture. Beyond prescription treatments, along with calcium and vitamin D, preventing falls is one of the best ways to reduce fracture. With the influx of snow and ice over the last couple of weeks, this is a good time to review strategies to prevent falls.
- Wear sturdy well fitting boots with the addition of grip spikes where needed
- Use spike attachments for canes
- Do not wear longer coats that can cause a trip hazard
- Focus on mall walking or indoor activities when streets are slippery
- Do regular exercises to promote muscle tone which prevents falls (consider the free online program “From Soup to Tomatoes” for chair-based exercises that promote muscle tone)
- Avoid bi-focal or transitional lenses in eye glasses that affect depth perception when walking
- Eliminate medications that increase dizziness/drowsiness (only do this with a medication review with your pharmacist)
Carolyn Whiskin is the Pharmacy Manager for Charlton Health. Carolyn specializes in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, pharmaceutical compounding, women’s health, pain and smoking cessation. Carolyn has won provincial and national awards for her commitment to patient care and public service.