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Your Checklist to Prevent Falls and Fractures at Home

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If you have osteoporosis and break your hip, there’s up to a 40% chance that you’ll be dead within a year. And more than half of people who survive never regain the same mobility and pain-free life they had before. Nearly all osteoporosis fracture happen because someone falls, so anything you can do to prevent a fall can reduce your risk for fractures. My book, Fracture-Proof Your Bones: A Comprehensive Guide to Osteoporosis, contains these, and many other helpful tips, and guides you through creating a holistic plan to maintain bone strength and reduce your risks. If you’re serious about protecting your bones and health, get a copy of the book today. 

1. Tidy Up Your Home

  • Tuck away loose electric cords and other tripping hazards.
  • Remove clutter.
  • Secure loose rugs to the floor.
  • Purchase non-slip mats for the bathtub or shower.
  • Check that all handrails are secure.
  • Wear rubber-soled, non-stick slippers or supportive shoes in the house.

2. Be Safe After Dark

  • Keep the house well lit, and turn on lights before walking down hallways or into rooms.
  • Use nightlights.
  • Keep a clear path from your bed to the bathroom.
  • Keep a lamp or light switch within reach of your bed.
  • If you wear glasses, check that your prescription is up to date.

3. Work on your Balance

  • Participate in exercises that improve balance. Consider enrolling in yoga or tai chi classes or enlisting help from a personal trainer or physical therapist. And doing the simple Stork Exercise while you brush your teeth is a convenient way to improve your balance and reduce your risk of falling.
  • Include a balance of aerobic and weight-bearing exercise to improve muscle strength and stability.
  • Incorporate exercise into everyday activities. For ideas on how to do this, read my blog, 5 Simple Ways to Work Exercise into Your Life.

4. Re-evaluate Medications and Supplements

  • As I discuss in my book, many common medications increase the risk for falling and weaken bones. Shockingly, 95% of people 65 years or older are prescribed a medication that increases their risk for falling, and both antidepressants and acid blocking medications are examples of popular medications that damage bones and increase fracture risk. Make sure you review all your medicaitons with your doctor and pharmacist.
  •  including antidepressants and acid blocking medications. So make sure you review these too.
  • Supplement vitamin D3. The US Preventive Task Force recommends vitamin D supplementation for preventing falls.
  • Many doctors recommend calcium and vitamin D; however, most companies sell bone support products with nutrients that have never been shown in clinical trials to maintain strong bones as indicated by reducing fractures. To learn what the research shows does help, read my blog, Bone Health Supplements: What Really Works.

    5. Get Your Zzzzz’s

    • Sleep deprivation reduces judgment, balance and reaction time. So ensure you’re getting the recommended eight hours of sleep on average per night.
    • Read and implement the tips in my blog, Your Checklist for Better Sleep.
    • And if you need some help extra help, take my Sleep Relief dietary supplement.

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    References

    Diem SJ, Blackwell TL, Stone KL, et al. 2007;167(12):1240-1245. 

    Eom CS, Lee HK, Ye S, 2012;27(5):1186-1195.

    Khanassov V, Hu J, Reeves D, 2018;33(12):1688-1708. 

    Lapumnuaypol K, Thongprayoon C, Wijarnpreecha K, et al. 2019;112(2):115-121. 

    Moura C, Bernatsky S, Abrahamowicz M, et al. 2014;25(5):1473- 1481.

    Moyer VA. 2012;157(3):197-204.

    Nevitt MC, Cummings SR, Hudes ES. 1991;46(5):M164-70.

    Tinetti ME. 2003;348(1):42-49.

    Yang YX, Lewis JD, Epstein S, et al. 2006;296(24):2947- 2953. 

    Zaninotto P, Huang YT, Di Gessa G, et al. 2020;20(1):1804.

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