Falls aren’t good for anyone. But it’s extra important to avoid accidents if you have osteoporosis or if you've got low bone density, also called osteopenia. Because your bones are weaker, falls can cause them to break easier.
If you’re 65 or older, know that 1 in 3 adults in this age group falls every year -- and the odds go up with each decade. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to protect yourself.
Heavy drinking is a health risk for many reasons, including the effects on bones.
Research shows that chronic heavy alcohol use, especially during adolescence and young adult years, can dramatically affect bone health and increase the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
What do doctors advise? Drink less for strong bones.
Calcium is an essential nutrient for healthy bones, and alcohol is its enemy. "Alcohol has multiple effects on calcium," says Primal Kaur, MD, an osteoporosis specialist...
About half of all falls happen at home. But the hazards that cause them are easy to spot and fix.
1. Clear your walkways and stairs. Shoes, books, and low decorative items (such as vases and baskets) are examples of things you could trip over.
2. Use an adhesive to keep your rugs down. You may want to get rid of small throw rugs, which can slip easily and cause you to fall.
3. Put non-slip mats in the bottom of your bathtub or on the floor of your shower. Wet surfaces are always dangerous.
4. Put handrails on your staircases, and use them. You may want to have grab bars put in your shower stall and next to your toilet.
5. Make sure your house is well-lit. Turn the lights on whenever you plan to be in a room or walkway -- even if you’re passing through. Keep a flashlight with new batteries near your bed, too.
6. Keep items you use often (like cooking supplies) in low, easy-to-reach places. Having to reach for high places or use a stool raises your odds of a fall.
7. Don’t walk around in slippers, stockings, or socks. Don’t go barefoot either, if possible. Instead, wear low-heeled shoes with rubber soles. These can keep you from slipping on slick surfaces like tile and wood floors.
8. Wear comfortable shoes. Again, make sure they have rubber soles. They’ll give you traction and make you less likely to slip on slick surfaces.
9. If the sidewalk is wet or it might be icy, walk on the grass. Even if you’re not sure, don’t take the chance.