What to Ask: Falls Prevention
Tools and Tips
A fall is one of the most common events that threaten the independence of older adults. Each year, up to a third of older adults living in the community suffers a fall. This number increases to almost two thirds among older adults who have a history of a fall in the past year. About half of all people in nursing homes fall each year.
The following are questions you can ask your healthcare professional about falls prevention.
- Someone I know fell recently, is it a sign of aging?
- What causes a fall?
- What should I do after a fall?
- How could I prevent a fall next time?
- Are there exercises that help prevent falling?
- Are there things I can do to prevent hurting myself if I do fall?
- Is there a test that the doctor can order for me to see if I am likely to fall?
- What medical conditions can increase my risk of falling?
- Will limiting my activities prevent me from falling?
- Because of the fall should I limit my activities?
- I heard, if I fall, I would end up in a nursing home. Is that true? And how can I prevent it?
WALKING AND BALANCE
Problems with walking increase with age and are commonly associated with falls and disability in older adults. At least 20% of older adults living in the community have problems with walking. This increases to approximately 50% in adults 85 years old and older. Most of these problems are associated with underlying diseases, especially severe diseases.
The following are questions you can ask your healthcare professional about walking and balance:
- As I get older, what will be the expected changes in my walking?
- Is it normal for speed of walking to slowdown?
- When should I ask my doctor to do a test for my walking problems?
- Are there tests to check my steadiness and walking?
- The doctor ordered a walker for me. Do I really need to use it?
- When I have arthritic pain in my back and knee. should I limit my activities?
- Will therapy help with my walking problems?
- Will therapy help my balance problem?