Spring Forward without Falling Back - Prevent Falls & Stay Balanced
Shanda McNew, MPT - President, PRO PT; email@example.com
One in four seniors fall each year and falls jeopardize independence. Not all falls cause injury, but one in five will result in serious issues such as broken bones or head trauma. These injuries can make it hard to get around, do everyday activities, or live on your own. Many who have fallen, even if not injured, become afraid of falling again. This fear can lead to avoidance of social activities and everyday tasks, causing weakness, unsteadiness, and an even greater risk of falls.
While falls are common, they are preventable. Here are 5 tips to avoid falls and prevent future injury.
1. Keep doing physical activities you enjoy and exercises to improve your balance, strength, and endurance. Be sure to do these activities where you can grasp firmly if you get unsteady, like the kitchen counter.
2. Talk to your doctor about any falls even if you weren’t hurt. Medications, dizziness, numbness, joint pain, eyesight, and shortness of breath are medical conditions associated with falls that can be addressed.
3. Make your home as safe as possible by removing cords, loose rugs, furniture, and clutter from traffic areas and make sure your walkways are well-lit.
4. Wear sensible shoes with non-slip soles and use a cane or walker for additional support, especially on slippery surfaces and uneven terrain.
5. Notice if you’re holding onto walls, furniture, or someone else when walking or if you’re having difficulty rising from a chair. You may need additional help from your physician or physical therapist to assess fall risk and develop a balance and safety plan.
Now is the time for a quick 15 minute fall screen before a fall occurs to remain active, independent, healthy, and happy.