If you're over the age of 65 you have a 50% chance of falling every year. Many never fully recover, needless to say prevention is critical. Here are the five biggest factors leading to serious falls.
Problem one: Osteoporosis, or lack of bone density. The solution? Adequate calcium and vitamin D in your diet and exercise with weights. Resistance training builds bone and will help with problem number two, lack of physical activity.
The solution to the lack of physical activity? Build muscle tone and flexibility. Exercises like tai chi improve balance.
Problem three, impaired vision. Falls come when you can't navigate easily through your environment. The solution? Address existing visual problems with your doctor, but also use contrasting colors throughout the home to help with depth perception.
"Problem four, medications," says Dr. David Lipschitz. "Prescription, over the counter and alcohol diminish mental alertness and effect gait and balance. The solution? Know the side effects of every drug you take and discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist to minimize your risk of falling."
Problem five, environmental hazards. One-third of all falls happen in the home. The solution? Take care of potential trouble spots by improving lighting. removing rugs and installing grab bars.