Are you worried about falling? Each year, millions of people over the age of 65 fall. According to the CDC, “Over 800,000 patients a year in the United States are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.”
September is National Fall Prevention month and we are sharing simple tips on how to decrease your risk of falling. Staying on your feet is key to keeping you out of the hospital so you can stay healthy and live out your dreams.
Below you will find several resources to help you prevent falls.
dON’T FALL! HOW TO AVOID FALL-RELATED INJURies IN YOUR HOME
Most falls are preventable by taking a few extra steps in your home. There are simple actions you can take that will reduce your risk of tripping. Below you will find tips to avoid injury in your home.
- Use a cane or walker when walking through your house.
- Remove coffee tables, boxes and cords from hallways or areas you frequently walk through.
- Ensure the lights are on before using the stairs.
- Secure loose carpeting or scattered rugs with slip-resistant backing.
- Clean up spilled liquid or food from the floor without delay.
- Keep night lights on when navigating to the bathroom during the night.
- Place a bath seat or non-slip mats in your bathtub.
- Put devices in your home to assist you, such as hand rails on stairways, a raised toilet seat with armrests and grab bars for the shower.
Dr. Laura Cloukey, Medical Director at Pinellas Care Center shares her tips on how you can reduce your fall risk:
“Be aware of your environment. Put pride aside and use a walker or cane for gait stability. Falls occur commonly when people who are descending stairs have their minds on where they are going instead of where they currently are. Remember pets can easily get under your feet, be aware of their presence. Stay current on your eye care with vision correction efforts. Lastly, ask for assistance when needed. We all need a little help some of the time.” Dr. Laura Cloukey, Medical Director at Pinellas Care Center
If you do fall, we are here for you. Talk with your primary care physician first. If necessary, they will coordinate your care with one of our orthopaedic specialists.
To learn more about how you can prevent falls, join us for one of our free fall prevention classes listed below.
rEGISTER FOR A FREE FALL PREVENTION CLASS
Do you find yourself losing your balance often? You are not alone! According to the CDC, one in three adults fall every year. We don’t want you to get hurt and become a fall victim. Join us to learn important information on how to reduce your risk of falling. Classes are free to the entire community. You do not have to be a patient or resident to attend, so bring your friends. Register below!
How to improve your balance
Are you looking for ways to maintain or increase your balance? Strength and balance exercises play an important role in reducing your risk of falling. Below are some gentle exercises and activities you can do to improve strength, balance, flexibility and coordination.
- Walking is a low-impact exercise and has many health benefits. It is recommended to walk 30 minutes a day, three times per week. Use a walker or cane if needed.
- Yoga is a gentle exercise that uses specific body movements to strengthen your muscles, while increasing balance and stability.
3. Tai Chi
- Tai Chi originates from China. It is similar to yoga and involves slow, meditative movements.
4. Water Aerobics
- Water aerobics is a type of resistance exercise that generally takes place in waist-deep water in a swimming pool.
1. Stand on One Foot
- Grab a sturdy object you can grip for balance.
- Stand on one foot.
- Hold for 10 seconds.
- Repeat 10 times.
- Repeat 10 times with the other leg.
2. Walk Heel to Toe
- Put your right foot in front of your left foot. The heel of your right foot should be touching the toes of your left foot.
- Then place your left foot in front of your right, putting your weight on your heel.
- After, shift your weight to your toes.
- Walk this way for 20 steps.
3. Back Leg Raises
- Grab a sturdy object you can grip for balance, like a chair.
- Slowly lift your right leg straight back. Do not bend your knees or point your toes.
- Stay in that position for one second, and then bring your leg back down.
- Repeat this 10-15 times per leg.
4. Side Leg Raises
- Stand behind a chair with your feet slightly apart.
- Slowly lift your right leg to the side.
- Keep toe facing forward and your back straight.
- Stay in that position for one second, and then lower your right leg down slowly.
- Repeat this exercise ten to 15 times per leg.
“Walk daily. Involve yourself in exercises such as water aerobics, yoga, and balance exercises. This will help keep you young, strong and fit for life.” Dianne Doane-Bustetter, ARNP-BC, CWCN at Belleview Care Center