Falls Prevention Awareness Week is sponsored by the National Council on Aging and is designed to spread information to the public about steps you can take to reduce your risk of falling.
Falls and a fear of falling can diminish your ability to lead a full and independent life. Although 1 in every 4 older adults falls each year, falling is NOT a part of normal aging and there are steps to take to reduce your risk.
There are many factors that can increase your risk for falls, including:
- History of a previous fall
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Recent hospitalization
- Advanced age
- Leg weakness
- Limited flexibility
- Problems with your vision
- Medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s disease
- Joint pain or arthritis
- Taking certain types of medications
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Home hazards such as throw rugs, poor lighting, or a lack of handrails on stairs
- Inappropriate footwear
- Inappropriate use of a walker or a cane
The more risk factors you have, the greater your risk of falling.
A physical therapist can help you reduce your risk of falls by:
- Assessing your risk for falling
- Designing an individualized plan for your fall-prevention needs
- Helping you make your home as safe as possible
- Educating you about the medical risk factors associated with falls
- Providing you with appropriate exercises and balance training
- Fear management to build your confidence and help you get back to the activities that you may be avoiding because you are afraid of falling
- Working with other health care professionals to address any underlying medical conditions that could increase your fall risk
- Providing you with recommendations on appropriate community programs
If you or your loved ones are worried about falling, have had a loss of balance, or have had a fall, reach out to one of our physical therapists to see how we can help.
See our post from last year’s Fall Prevention Awareness Day for even more information: