Learn how to prevent falls at home, the leading cause of trauma in the elderly

Due to the loss of muscle mass, the elderly are more likely to suffer falls at home. They are also more susceptible to the risk of femur and hip fractures due to bone fragility.

Orthopedist Lorenzo Fagotti, from Syrian-Lebanese Hospital from Brasília, explains that, with age, the body experiences a natural reduction in vitamin D, which ends up harming the body’s absorption of calcium. “This is even one of the causes of osteoporosis”, he details.

There are ways to reduce the risk of falling. Simple changes in habits, such as performing exercises that improve balance and gain muscle strength, are a way to avoid accidents. Taking regular walks also helps with physical condition.

In addition to exercise, doctors may prescribe supplements such as bisphosphonates, calcium and vitamin D to treat patients with fragile bones or osteoporosis.

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According to orthopedist Christiano Saliba Uliana, from VITA Hospital, it is important to be aware of the risks that the home environment presents to the elderly. Some changes at home can prevent falls. Among the measures, Saliba warns of the need for the environment to be always well lit and the floor to be always dry.

He also suggests that homeowners install non-slip tapes and that steps and rugs be avoided. Bathrooms, on the other hand, must be adapted with grab bars and the height of the toilet must be elevated.

Shyrlem Barbosa is an intern at the Mentor Program and is supervised by the editor Maria Eugênia

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