What can You Do to Prevent a Fall?
Though popular media would have us think we’ll all be forever young, no one is immune to aging and the hardship time places on the body. As we get older our bodies require more attention to stay healthy. We become more at risk for injury and we take longer to recover when we do get injured.
Anyone Can Fall
One of the biggest risks for injury as we age is falling. Thirty percent of community dwelling people over the age of 65 fall at least once a year, and falls in those people are the leading cause of injury related to hospitalization and death. Anyone can fall, so education on how and why falls happen is important for everyone.
What can we do to prevent falls? Justin Chipperfield, of Chipperfield Physiotherapy, recently presented a Falls Prevention Seminar at Brock House Society for seniors. In his talk, Justin discussed the major cause of falls and fall prevention strategies.
Household Safety Measures
Since half of all falls that lead to hospitalization take place in the home, that’s a good place to start implementing fall prevention measures. Simple household practices such as installing night lights, reducing clutter, removing area rugs, and wiping up spills as soon as they happen will minimize the risk of falls in your home. There are many safety considerations to think about for each room in your household, and simple updates with fall prevention in mind will go a long way.
Personal Safety Measures
Knowing your capabilities and physical limitations is also critical to fall prevention. If you suffer from poor balance, decreased muscle and bone strength, reduced vision or hearing, changes in cognition or side-effects from medications, these conditions need to be recognized so that appropriate preventative measures can be taken for your unique health needs. For example, using a cane or walker, getting up slowly from sitting positions, and wearing eyeglasses or hearing aids when necessary will all contribute to reducing likelihood of a fall. Physiotherapist led strength and balance exercise programs can improve overall body control and help prevent falls.
If you’re concerned about falls in your home or community, contact Chipperfield Physiotherapy for a falls prevention consultation. If you’d like to coordinate a falls prevention seminar with your group or seniors society, please get in touch. Each year, falls cost the province of BC $200 million. Information on why falls happen and how to prevent them really can make the difference between healthy independent living and chronic pain.
From Brock House Society: “Thank you for your talk today. As you could tell, you engaged everyone. They pretty much all told me they really liked your presentation as did I.” – Henriette Orth, Co-Convenor Services for Seniors Series, Brock House Society