There’s a great saying that goes, "Small hinges swing big doors." And it’s often the most straightforward advice that wins in the end. The truth is, without knowing about how good your balance is, or about your fall incidents intimately, I cannot tell you which of these will work best for you. And even if I did know the root cause of your balance issues, there are no guarantees that any single strategy will work.
When we consider the ideal situation, if we did not sustain a fall we could live our lives without the danger of lowering our self-confidence or the risk of losing our independence.
Unfortunately, as a physical therapist, I commonly see people following a fall or bodily injury, like a broken bone or worse head injury. We tend to avoid taking action until we absolutely must. So, I created this blog post for those people that have fallen and are looking for help to get back on their feet again, confidently or help their loved ones reduce the risk of having a nasty fall.
5 Things To Do If You Or A Loved One Have Had A Fall…
1. Check For Injuries
When you or a loved one, fall and hit the ground, panic can set in. Adrenaline (a hormone in your body), will be triggered and will go through your body, making you feel shaky and panicked.
When this happens the first thing to do is start by taking a deep breath and notice where you’re feeling any pain in your body.
What did you hit when you fell? Did you hit your head? Rear end? Your back? Did you reach out with an arm? When you’ve checked for any injuries, and if it’s safe for you to get back up, get yourself into a comfortable position.
If something sturdy is nearby, like a sofa, use that to assist you, but don’t lean on something that could move or shift when you go to stand up.
Important: If you hit your head when you fell, you should seek help from a Doctor.
2. Tell Someone About Your Fall
You may be embarrassed about the fall and embarrassed to tell someone, but falling is something that can become more frequent if it goes unnoticed.
It’s kind of like the first step to admitting a problem, and by telling someone you could address the problem and get a hold of it quick before it escalates.
Often times we let the fear of losing our independence get in the way of sharing it with others, or we try to convince ourselves that it was just a ‘one-time event’.
Sharing this information with someone could help identify if there’s a problem quickly, and if there is, could help you stop it from getting worse quick.
3. Call For Help
If you’ve fallen in a public place and can’t get up – call out for help. If you’re worried about getting back up safely, the best thing to do is have someone to help you (even if you are embarrassed).
If you’re unable to shout loud enough for help, make a noise with an object like a walking stick if you have one, or anything else you can to get attention. Don’t struggle alone and put yourself at a higher risk of injury.
If you have an emergency alarm system activate it, and if you live alone this type of system may be beneficial for you or your loved one
4. Review Your Medication
Often patients come to see us with medication lists that look like novels written in another language – and sometimes medications are essential to be taken, but sometimes drugs can have side effects that cause problems with our balance.
If you have medications you are taking regularly (especially if you take more than 1), take a look at the side effects on the leaflet and see if the medication you’re on could be a problem.
5. Check Your Eyesight
At about the age of 40, our eyesight starts to change and our vision can begin to get a little worse than it used to be.
As it gets worse, we notice problems with people having more falls than normal.
Having your eyes checked will let you know if you need to get a pair of glasses to help you see clearly or if you can rule the ‘vision issue’ out.
Make getting your eyes checked a priority annually.
So, there you have it, 5 things that you or your loved one can do TODAY to reduce your likelihood of having another fall, as well as regain your confidence without relying upon the shopping cart or a loved one to get around.
There’s so much you can do regarding addressing falls and balance problems, and I could go much more in-depth on ways to eliminate the risk of falls than the principles I’ve given you here, but these fundamentals, will make a massive difference to the quality of your life. If you are looking for ways to 'Fall Proof Your Home', check out our blog post CLICK HERE.
Physical therapy will be an excellent solution for your current situation. If you live in the Greater Milwaukee area and would like to learn more about how physical therapy or a trained physical therapist can help you, please reach out to us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or if you would like to arrange a FREE phone call with a physical therapist CLICK HERE.
Talk more soon!!
P.S. If you’re experiencing difficulty in your walking and/or balance which restricts your ability to get around your home without feeling worried, please download the walking and balance tips report which includes actionable tips I give to my patients at Prestige Therapy and Wellness, LLC.
Click here to get your free copy: https://prestigetherapywellness.lpages.co/walking-balance-freebie/