Did you know that 1 in 3 individuals age 65 or older fall each year?
More importantly, many of these falls are preventable.
There are several factors that increase the risk of falling, including visual changes, sensory impairment, weakness, and lack of household safety awareness.
With a few simple steps, you can reduce your risk of falling and continue to enjoy those daily activities that make life enjoyable.
- Have your vision checked annually – changes in vision affect your spatial awareness and create more stress on your body when it needs to adapt to a changing environment.
- Talk to your physician about numbness in your legs or feet – changes in sensation can make it difficult for your body to adjust to uneven surfaces, increasing your risk for falling
- Get active! A regular exercise routine will help with improved posture, strength, and endurance, significantly decreasing your risk for falling.
- Pay attention to risk factors in your home – area rugs, bath tubs, and stairs are common culprits in causing falls. Removing area rugs from your home, placing grab bars on your tub, and making sure there are railings on your stairs will enhance the safety of your home. In addition, make sure there is adequate lighting in each room, especially night lights in your bedroom to ensure your safety if you need to get up in the middle of the night.
Above all, don’t be fearful! If you have had a fall, or even a “close call,” feel free to consult with a physical therapist or your physician – both are well equipped to assist you.
Whether it is starting an exercise routine or obtaining a cane or walker to help with balance and keep you on your feet!
Leslie Proctor Davis, PT, DPT is a physical therapist who treats patients at the Tidewater Physical Therapy Hidenwood location in Newport News, Va.