Category Archives: Fall Prevention & Home Safety

Adopt A Healthy Lifestyle Plan And Prevent Hip Fracture Accidents From Happening

Healthy lifestyle habits adopted in early adulthood build a higher peak bone mass and therefor reduce your risk of osteoporosis in later adult years.  The same measures may also lower your risk of falling while improving your overall physical and mental health.  This preventative approach applies to any age, as well.


Regular exercise strengthens bones and improves balance.  Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking or brisk walking, encourages the body to increase bone density.  By increasing the body’s overall strength, this can dramatically reduce the likelihood of falling, a leading indicator to hip fractures.  Commit to exercising at least 20 to 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.  Start gradually and gently.  Since balance deteriorates with aging, balance training and exercise will also reduce your risk to fall.

Do Not Smoke

You preserve bone density by not smoking- it’s that simple.

Avoid Excessive Alcohol Use

Excessive intake of alcohol can dramatically impair your balance thus making a fall or similar critical injury much more likely.

Home Safety Assessment

Identify home hazards that can lead to falling by taking a walk-through of each room in your house.  Each room harbors home hazards specific to that environment (i.e. the bathroom is different from the living room).  Basic modifications include the removal of throw rugs, clearing of pathways, remove floor clutter, position electrical cords along walls, create bright mood and task lighting, clear excess furniture, night lights and more.  First Response System offers older adults and their family members with a Fall Prevention Home Safety Guide that provides simple step-by-step checklists to identify and modify these home hazards.

Annual Wellness Appointment

Schedule an Annual Wellness Exam (on your birthday-it’s easy to remember) with your primary physician and/or health care providers and specialists.  Review medical history, chronic ailments, fall risk screening, gait strength and balance tests, exercise program, footwear and clothing, vision test and eye wear, supplements and medications.

Review & Manage Medications

Review all over and under-the-counter medications and dosages.  Consolidate all medications to one pharmacy provider.  Attach a personal medical data form to your refrigerator door and glove compartment in car.

Personal Medical Alert System

In the event of an accident or injury at home, invest in an affordable First Response at-home medical alarm system and compatible help alert button necklace or bracelet and 24/7 emergency monitoring service.  Local emergency responders will arrive at the front door at the simple press of your help alert button.

Post Surgery Rehabilitation and Medication Therapy- Recovering From a Hip Fracture Fall Accident

fall-prevention-annual-wellness-exam-with-doctorIn Part 4 in our blog series on hip fractures and fall accidents suffered by the elderly, we will briefly review the key therapies required to treat post surgical hip fractures. As discussed in previous blog articles, treatment often consists of a combination of surgery, rehabilitation, medication, prevention and 24/7 medical emergency monitoring.


A patient recovering from a hip fracture fall accident will usually have some level of involvement from a “care team”.  This care team could be associated with a hospital stay, extended care at a temporary care or assisted living type care facility, physician office, physical and/or occupational therapist treatment facility and at home.

Your care team will likely get the patient out of bed and moving on the first day after surgery.  Physical therapy will initially focus on range of motion and strengthening exercises.  Due to the type of surgery a patient has undergone, an extended care facility may be required, particularly if home care assistance is not available directly following surgery.

During extended care an at-home recovery phases, the patient may work with an occupational therapist to learn techniques and strategies for independence in daily life (i.e. use of toilet, bathing/showering, dressing, cooking, negotiating furnishings, rising and sitting, etc.).  the occupational therapist may also evaluate whether the patient requires a walker or wheelchair to regain mobility and independence from others.


Bone density-enhancing medications may also reduce the risk of suffering a second hip fracture.  As an initial (critical) fall usually results in recurring falls, a hip fracture can result in experiencing a second hip fracture.  These bone fortifying medications, called bisphosphonates, can diminish this possibility.  Most of these drug medications are ingested orally and can produce side effects such as nausea, abdominal pain and inflammation of the esophagus.  Many of these side effects can be difficult to tolerate.  If this is a potential problem, the patient may desire to ingest the type of bisphosphonate through a intravenous (IV) tubing.

To note, extended or long-term bisphosphonate medication therapy has been linked to a rare condition where the upper thighbone cracks, but does not usually break completely.  Bisphosphonate medications also have the potential to affect the jawbone or a section of it.  Please consult with your primary physician or surgeon to these possible side effects and conditions before moving forward with treatment.