Fall Risk – What You Need to Know

 

Are You at Risk for Falling? 

  • A person is considered a “falls risk” when they have any risk factors that increase their chance of taking a spill
  • Busting the Myths: Falling is NOT a “normal part of aging”
     

Why Should I Care? 

  • You Can Prevent Serious Injury!
    • It’s the most common cause of injury AND the leading cause of death from injury for people over age 65
  • It Takes a Toll on Your Body
    • Physically AND mentally
      • 90% of hip fractures result from falling!
      • Fear of falling will lead to avoiding activities with friends and family that can lead to anxiety and depression
      • Even if you have never fallen before, being afraid of falling actually INCREASES your risk of taking a tumble  

  
Ok, So What Are the Risk Factors?

  • Weakness
    • Decreased strength and muscle weakness is normal with aging
  • Foot problems
    • Foot pain, loss of sensation, even the shoes you wear could be a risk factor!
  • Medications
    • Medications have side effects that can increase your chance for falling including dizziness, tiredness, and lightheadedness
  • Vision
    • As we get older, the lens in your eye hardens making it harder to focus on objects
  • YOUR OWN HOME
    • Throw rugs, slippery surfaces in the bathroom, clutter around the home, no handrails, dim lighting, even pets can be a hazard
       

How Can I Prevent Myself from Falling?

  • Glad you asked!
    • First, review medications for side effects and talk about any vision issues with your doctor to see what could be effecting your balance
    • Second, PHYSICAL THERAPY
      • Physical therapists use screening tools to see how likely you are to fall
      • Education on the importance of footwear and what kind is the best for prevention of falls
      • Individualized exercise programs to increase strength and balance (also boost your confidence!)
         

Visit your local direct access physical therapist to learn more about falls risks!

 
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