Avoid Falls this Winter

11/11/13 8:23 AM

fallFall as a season is unavoidable.

Fall as a verb you can definitely elude.

There are some simple things anyone can do to reduce the risk of injury.

Remove Obstacles

Turns out Mom was right when she said to clean your room.  A cluttered room makes navigation more difficult.  It also takes more time to find items and, if that missing object is behind other objects, you may need to move things.  A quick turn with an object of some weight can throw you off balance and cause you to fall.

Don’t just look around you, look on you.  Are you wearing comfortable shoes that fit well or might slip off?  Do you have some traction on your shoes?  Stocking feet may be a risk you should avoid.

Do you need extra handrails to give yourself support?  The bathroom can be a nasty place to fall because of the slippery and hard surfaces there.  Think about what might make that room safer or make you feel more confident of yourself in this room.

Improve Mobility

As we age, we tend to compensate and adjust our movements without realizing it.  There are ways to improve balance and flexibility, even muscle tone so that, in the event you begin to fall, you can catch yourself and avoid the floor.

If you require a cane or walker to move around a room, then it’s important to use that equipment effectively.  Are your arms at the proper angle to avoid repetitive injuries?  Are you using a properly sized cane or walker so that you are correctly balanced?  Is the equipment in good order or should rubber grips on the bottom be replaced?

Check Your Meds

Have you reviewed the medications you are using to make sure there are no negative interactions?  Do you have any symptoms of dizziness or lightheadedness?  Are you staying away from alcohol so you remain steady on your feet?

A professional physical therapist like Physical Therapy Center of Bristol can help you assess the many factors in life that can increase the chance of falling.  Many of these are controllable and should be evaluated for your unique circumstances.

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