Tis’ the season for ice pavements, unshoveled sidewalks and black ice ridden roadways. As fall prevention is always of utmost importance when discussing elderly health, this time of year in particular poses extra threats. A fall can prevent someone from living the independent life they wish to lead. Once compromised there is a much higher risk of a second, third or fourth fall in the future. Millions of seniors fall annually and can cause minor to very serious injuries. A fall can cause anything from a severe head trauma, a hip fracture or just a common bruise and bump. It is important to prevent the opportunities for falls and stay independent and strong.
Falls are the number one case of fatal and non-fatal injuries in Americans aged 65 years and over. Sometimes these falls are serious enough to land someone in the emergency room or they may not even discuss the problem with their healthcare provider. Men are more likely to have a fatal fall, although women are more likely to fall in general.
How do we prevent the likeliness of a fall? Exercise always helps; particularly weight bearing activities that strengthen your muscles and bones can help keep you upright and secure. Also, it is important to go over your medication with your doctors to see if there are any side effects of your drugs that may cause drowsiness, lightheadedness or dizziness which can contribute to a fall. Keep your eyeglass prescription up to date with regular check ups. In the home, make sure to have any tripping hazards out of the way and add railings to any staircases. As we delve deeper into winter be sure to have salt, sand, and any other snow melting agents handy, and make sure to have someone shovel for you!
Falls although common, are not something to be taken lightly. A serious enough fall can render someone hospitalized, admitted to a full-care facility or unfortunately deceased. If you can been experiencing problems with balance or have already experienced a fall it is important to take proper safety precautions to prevent this.
Did you know that you do not need a referrals for physical therapy? For more information call Advance Physical Therapy and The Physical Therapy Alliance (516) 568-4444 with locations in Massapequa, Valley Stream, Wantagh and Lindenhurst.