Fall prevention is a very important topic. One in five falls cause a serious injury, like broken bones, or head injury. Nearly 3 million people are treated for unintentional falls every year, and more than 25% of people over the age of 65 fall each year. The cost for these falls, and the subsequent hospital stays and doctors visits, is over $50 billion since 2015. These accidents can be prevented by following these tips below:
Talk to your doctor
Ask your doctor or healthcare professional about your risk of falling. Ask them to evaluate the medications you may be taking, which may make your sense of balance worse. Ask them about vitamins and supplements you could be taking to improve strength and your bones, like Vitamin D. Give your doctor proper case history as well:
- Have you fallen before?
- Could current health conditions increase your risk for falling?
- o you feel dizzy or off-balance while standing or walking?
Strengthen your balance by moving
Perform exercises that help strengthen your legs, core, and balance. Some exercises, like tai chi, use slow, deliberate movements to help you concentrate on what you’re moving and how you’re moving. Simple exercises like walking, or low-impact movements like water workouts can help with your coordination as well. If you have any questions regarding your physical ability to perform any exercise, ask your doctor prior to beginning. This will not only ensure your workout protocol is appropriate for you, but will ensure you don’t hinder your progress in reducing your fall risk.
Have your vision checked
Some falls can be prevented with a simple check of your vision. An updated vision exam allows for you to not only be sure items in your environment won’t cause a fall, like a snagged rug, or wire, but actually reduce the likelihood of your fall risk. Using under or over prescribed lenses can make objects seem closer or further away, which can lead to depth perception issues.
Safe House, Safe Home
Speaking of your environment, take a look around your home. Remove any items or barriers between you and your pathway through the home. Be sure to flatten out area rugs, push electrical wires against the wall, repair broken floorboards, and straighten up loose papers and magazines so they don’t easily fall on the floor. You can also have security railings installed in your bathroom, bedroom, and along the stairs for an easier grip while moving about your home.
Get your balance tested
If you feel like your balance is off, or you suffer from vertigo (spinning sensation) when standing, sitting or moving your head, have your balance tested by an audiologist. We can identify the reason for your imbalance and, in most cases, treat the issue the same day in our office.