Updated: Jul 7
Are you worried about losing independence because of falls? Are you seeing your friends around you falling and losing their independence? Are you becoming frustrated with your doctors and kids telling you not to fall (Ok... How?).
Here are some common unknown reasons why you might fall, and a SOLUTION to help prevent it from happening.
Vertigo/Inner Ear Balance Problems:
Problems with vertigo and dizziness are symptoms that put older people at fall risk. About 33% of people aged 70 and raising to 50% of people over 85 are experiencing dizziness or vertigo right now! These conditions are usually very treatable!
The Legs Losing Perception Of Where You Are (Proprioceptive Loss):
As a balance specialist, I see this problem ALL THE TIME. Proprioceptive loss commonly is a problem that goes unrecognized. Often this can contribute to you experiencing a fall or play a role in balance problems which can appear with no given reason. Identifying the loss of perception is simple, and figuring out how to achieve a solution can be done.
Walking Slowly & Furniture Walking:
Walking slower makes you feel less balanced, but this is a common strategy for falls and balance problems. Touching furniture and walls while walking is a sign that something is wrong and immediate action is needed to prevent this from becoming a fall!
What is "furniture walking"? Furniture walking is when someone holds onto a dresser, counter, cabinet, door handle, wall, or practically anything for support. While furniture walking, you can easily misjudge your hand placement or lose grip on the item used for leverage. Furniture walking can indicate that there may be a need for the use of a device or balance training from a balance expert to ensure you stay upright on your feet.
Be Careful To Stay Safe At Night…Especially While Taking Trips To The Bathroom:
You can't be too careful as you plan a safe route to and from the bathroom, especially in the middle of the night. It is also true later in the evening and early in the morning. Since we may not always be at our best at these times with balance, strength, and mental sharpness, we must be sure of several keys to stay safe and free from trips, slips, and falls.
First, keep an uncluttered walkway from the bed to the bathroom. What might you look for, you may ask?
Ensure there are NO loose rugs on the way to or from the bathroom or IN the bathroom. You would not want your feet to get tangled up in a loose rug as you are a bit tired on your bathroom visit.
Keep the walkway well light, preferably with touch lamps or with push-button lamps. This way, you can keep the area well lit when you are on your way to and from the bathroom.
Keep a wide walkway and de-clutter boxes, furniture, and storage items that may tangle in your feet while you walk. The last thing you need is for your stuff to trip you on the way for your critical business in the bathroom! Try to avoid or minimize furniture walking while going to the bathroom.
Use Handrails And Grab Bars:
Handrails can keep you safe from avoidable injury. Each step in your home should have a stable handrail or grab bar, even the step to enter your home from the front porch, garage, or back door stoop. Since our climate involves rainy, icy, or snowy weather, having a secured handrail in place may provide you with the stability needed to ensure you are safe when leaving or entering your home.
Another place to consider having several grab bars is within and near your toilet, tub, and shower. You want to be sure the grab bars are easy to reach and secured to the studs inside the wall.
Lastly, use handrails on your steps going down into the basement or leading to the upper floors of your home. The rails should be easy to reach and securely applied to the studs inside the walls. Adding a second railing might be a good idea for safety purposes.
10 Best Home Adaptive Equipment For Seniors:
Many adaptive tools can assist in making you more comfortable and safer in your home. Simple adaptive devices may include:
2) Leg lifters to get legs into bed or on couch easier
3) Long-handled sponge for bathing
5) Handheld showerhead for bathing
7) Raised toilet seat for getting up from sitting
8) Car handle for getting out of a car easier
Having an expert assist in guiding the proper fit and use can be helpful if you are not sure. As mobile physical therapy and occupational therapy provider, we help individuals like you or your loved one aged 65+ improve your mobility to keep you active and living at the most optimal level all in the comfort of your home.
You can give us a phone call as your mobile, in-home physical therapy and occupational therapy provider in Waukesha. We provide our services physical therapy at home throughout the Greater Milwaukee area to help you get this problem solved.
If you are looking for a solution to your balance problem or fall prevention for seniors to keep you independent and you or your loved one lives in Waukesha, Brookfield, New Berlin, Pewaukee, Delafield, Hartland, Oconomowoc, Greenfield, New Berlin, Muskego, Wales, Greendale, Franklin, Oak Creek, Whitefish Bay, or in surrounding Greater Milwaukee communities, give us a quick phone call to schedule your physical therapy appointment or complete this quick form to set up your FREE 20-minute call ($75 value) with a mobile at-home physical therapist to discuss your current situation!
Talk more soon!!
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