When it comes falling, especially among seniors, the result can be deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 21,500 older Americans died from unintentional falls in 2010.
Every year, one in three adults age 65 or older fall, and many times the results are devastating such as hip fractures, wrist fractures, other broken bones, brain injuries and an increased fear of falling. With more fear of falling, seniors become less mobile, limit their activities, and, ironically, increase their chances of suffering a debilitating fall.
“We’ve seen a lot of seniors after they’ve fallen and some of the injuries have been severe, but I always stress with these people is that we can get you better and prevent future falls,” says MPT owner and rehab expert Beth Winkler-Schmit. “Don’t let the fall stop you from an active life.”
There’s hope, however, because falls can be prevented with a little exercise, balance and more awareness. Winkler-Schmit says that seniors should make sure they do the following:
- Exercise regularly, which will not only give you more energy, but will also improve balance.
- Have your pharmacist check your medications to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.
- Inspect your home for tripping hazards such as cords and throw rugs.
- Have your eyes checked once a year to ensure your prescription is current.
Winkler-Schmit also suggests a simple exercise can help improve balance. Stand in a corner with your feet together; cross your arms; and close your eyes (it’s more difficult than it sounds). Do this for 30-60 seconds everyday.
If you have suffered a fall, or have concerns about your balance, please call us—733-0254—and we will provide you a free evaluation screen.