Did you know that every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the Emergency Room for a fall-related injury? Fall Prevention Awareness Week is quickly approaching in September, and to celebrate, Professional Physical Therapy is supplying you with tips on how to protect yourself from becoming one of these ER casualties!
Each year, one out of every three adults, 65 years old or older, falls, and 83% of falls cause injury. An even more shocking 49% of falls occur at home.
There are many factors that can contribute to falls, such as normal changes due to aging, visual or vestibular changes, lower extremity muscle weakness, gait abnormalities, certain medications, and your external environment.
Here’s what you can do to reduce your risk of falling:
- Review your medications and their side effects with your Primary Care Physician.
- Get yearly vision check-ups.
- Eliminate external hazards in your home (e.g., remove small throw rugs, remove clutter, keep common items in cabinets within reach, wear appropriate footwear, and make sure there is proper lighting throughout your home).
- Lastly and most importantly, exercise regularly to keep your muscles strong! Here are a few exercises you can perform at home, twice a day (3 sets of 10 repetitions each) to keep strengthening your muscles:
- Sit to stand
- Heel raises
- Knee kick outs
- Toe raises
- Single leg balance
Be sure to perform these exercises in a safe, familiar environment! If you have any questions or think you may be at risk for falling, you can schedule a complimentary assessment with one of our licensed Physical Therapists.