Can you guess who is at the greatest risk for slip and fall injuries? The answer is females, age 65 or older, who do not exercise, and take medications that can make them dizzy. Do you know someone like this? The alarming statistics show that hip fractures are quite common within this group of seniors. Hip fractures among women 65 and older have climbed 40 percent in the last decade!

What are we doing wrong to promote this type of dramatic increase in hip fractures? One fact is that the population group of 85 year olds and up is increasing rapidly and surpassing all previous numbers. This is also attributable to the positive advances in disease prevention. The basic problem is that we are not taking adequate precautions to ensure that we have healthy lives as well as longer lives.

Simple, in-home exercises are available for seniors to increase their muscle tone and bone strength. Many seniors benefit from training with a physical therapist. Nurses’ aides can also coach a senior to practice their exercises in between visits from the therapist. “Use it or loose it” is a very real threat to the overall conditioning of an elderly person’s body.

One third of older adults slip and fall each year, resulting in hospitalization. The predominant injury is a broken hip. Half of those people never regain their former ability to walk, to get up and down, to bend, or to lift. This group will need in-home care or facility placement for the rest of their lives.

My office is happy to give you a referral to a physical therapist or supply a nurses’ aide to help you exercise at home. You can also consult with your physician.

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