29 Oct Part 3: Are You at Risk of Falling
What can you do to prevent falls for yourself or a family member?
We have discussed the impact of falls and the interaction of risk factors that lead to falls in Parts 1 and 2 of this series. In this edition, we will present some things you can do to prevent falls for yourself or a family member.
What can be done around the home?
- Remove throw rugs or area rugs from the floor since they are a trip hazard.
- Install grab bars in the bathroom around the toilet and in the shower for safety.
- Install a raised toilet seat to reduce the difficulty getting up from a low seat.
- Place night lights in areas that are poorly lit or in bedrooms and bathrooms to improve safety for walking to the bathroom at night.
What activities can be done to improve strength?
- Gradually increase activity levels by walking, getting involved at a community center, or finding a group that performs gentle exercises together.
- Increase social interaction which can help decrease depression and increase activity levels. Simply being involved with a group of peers can motivate you to be more active.
How can medical professionals help?
- Your primary care physician or physical therapist can perform a Fall Risk assessment to help identify risk factors and give suggestions on treatment options such as physical therapy.
- Your primary care physician and pharmacist can review your medications to discuss if there are any medications that may be interacting and increasing your fall risk or if it may be appropriate to adjust the dosages to reduce your fall risk.
- Be sure to have an annual eye exam. Assessment for glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye conditions is especially important as we age.
These are a few of the things that can be done to help reduce your risk of falling. Remember, it is most important to prevent a fall because it is very difficult to fully recover from a fall after it happens. If you have any questions about your fall risk, please contact us a Body One Physical Therapy so we can help.