1. Stay Active
Unfortunately, this is precisely the opposite of what needs to be done. Weight-bearing exercise has been shown to have beneficial effects on maintaining healthy bone. Furthermore, fit people have better balance and are less likely to fall or fracture a bone.
While maintaining fitness is crucial, it is important to exercise safely. Contact your local senior center or physical therapist to see if any classes are offered specifically for older adults.
Knowing your bone density can help you and your doctor determine what steps are necessary to help improve your bone health and prevent fracture. Patients with lower bone density may be placed on medications to limit bone loss and improve bone density.
A 1999 survey of homes by Yale University researchers found safety problems in the vast majority of houses. Almost 80% of houses of elderly people had loose objects on living room floors. including rugs, piles of books, or loose cords. Other areas of concern were stairways, kitchens, and bathrooms.
Sources: Gill, et al "A population-based study of environmental hazards in the homes of older persons" Am J Public Health, Apr 1999; 89: 553 - 556.
By knowing your medications, and the signs of problems with these medications, you can take control of your health. Let your doctor know if you think a medication could be causing a side effect that may lead to unsteady walking, loss of balance, or a fall.
Many older patients have poor vision and may wear corrective lenses. But unless they check regularly with their eye doctor, they may not know if their vision has been worsening. Treating poor vision is a crucial step to avoiding falls.