As we get older there is much concern about “falling”; protecting our loved ones from unnecessary pain and injury. Falls can often lead to deep bruising, hip fractures which in turn can lead to other serious health issues. Since falls can stem from several different issues the question becomes, what can we do about it?

Step One
Ask yourself the question… “Why do you think you or your loved ones are falling”? By doing this is can help you better decide on where to begin. Some individuals’ falls because of dizziness, others fall because they get tired quickly or they have poor balance. Based upon your answer, it will steer you towards the best means of getting the problem addressed.

Step Two

Getting help

If you are falling due to dizziness; it would be good to see your general physicians to rule our infections and/or other health issues. Some simple treatment can get you feeling yourself again quickly. If the dizziness isn’t caused by infection, your physician may refer you to physical therapy for some effective techniques that can help resolve the issue as well.

Getting tired easily and having low coordination is a very common reason for falling. As we tire throughout the day, our reaction time decreases; meaning that if we have a “stumble” our bodies cannot react fast enough to “catch our balance” leading to a fall. Also if the muscles that we use to walk are weak it causes one not to be able to lift the feet safely over objects (curbs, carpet, etc) in addition our stride length also decreases giving us more of a “shuffling” walk again leading to trips/falls.

This issue can identified and helped by a physical therapist. By increasing the stamina and strength of the leg/walking muscles one can greatly diminish their changes of falling while increasing their functional abilities at home. Some simple exercises to implement into your day are:

Seated toe taps (sit in a chair and tap your feet; this increases the muscles in your lower leg that help lifts your feet when you walk)
Seated Heel lifts (sit in a chair and lift your heels; this helps the muscles that help you climb stairs)
Lying Leg Lifts
As we age, falling becomes a growing concern; however, there is much that can be done to keep your loved ones’ safe and healthy. Not only will their chances of falling decrease, you will also find that their overall activity levels will increase.

If you have any other questions about “Fall Prevention” or have a loved one who needs help; call and schedule a “Free Fall Assessment” with one of our local physical therapists.

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