"Your falls: Do you have a secret?"

Do you have a secret?

Half the people who fall don't tell anyone, thinking, "It's so embarrassing, it was a fluke, I wasn't paying attention, I was tired, I don't want them on my case," etc.

Sometimes that's right.

Ships and oil rigs have protocols mandating use of handrails on stairs and slippery decks. Everyone must comply all the time. But out here, where able-bodied people jostle those who are slightly hesitant, you're on your own. 

If you fall in private, you might keep it to yourself. And by the time a relative, a friend, or a stranger notices, the underlying problem can be advanced. A person who falls will unconsciously restrict activity. This leads to social isolation, physical and mental deconditioning, and declining quality of life. 

It's better to dig into it and find the causes. Usually there is more than one. Some common medical conditions that set a person up for a fall include:

What to do?  Tell someone.

Knowing, when how often, and in what circumstances a fall has occurred is critical to finding the cause. If you have more than one fall, or an injury--even a minor one--see a doctor promptly. The only way to reduce risk is to figure out how it happened. Make changes while you can.

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