Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury in older Australians. As well as physical injury, falls can cause loss of confidence and fear of falling, so over time, older people may become less active, which may increase their risk of falling.
On a positive note, there are several simple things you can do to help reduce your risk of suffering a potentially life altering fall.
1. Check in with your Doctor.
This can be as simple as having them ensure none of your medications have side effects that may increase your risk. They can also check your blood pressure, as this can be a factor.
2. Wear sensible shoes!
Heels, floppy slippers and Ugg boots will make it more difficult for you to walk in a safe and stable manner. Solid supportive shoes with plenty of grip will make sure you stay upright and help reduce foot/joint soreness.
3. Reduce home hazards
Now is the time to channel your inner Marie Kondo and simplify your environment. Make sure power cords are well secured and out of the way. Move coffee tables and plant stands out of high traffic areas. Secure rugs with double sided tape so as they don’t slip, slide or catch your toes. Even better…get rid of them!
4. Let there be Light!
Ensuring you have adequate lighting can make it easier for your balance systems to operate. Increasing the lux of bulbs, opening curtains and using night lights will all swing the pendulum in your favour.
5. Stay strong, active and agile.
By maintaining your strength, balance and agility, you will be able to effectively reduce your risk of falling. Regular exercise is also great for maintaining bone density and minimising the effects of age-related degeneration, such as arthritis.
It's this last area where we at Glenelg Physio can help. Come in and see us about a personalised exercise program aimed at improving your balance, increasing your strength and maximising your function.
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