Preventing falls

Falls are responsible for a majority of hospital visits by elderly people. Poor balance and posture, low vision, dizziness and several other reasons can lead to falls. If you are an older person or a caregiver, know that there are solutions to this common problem. We can help you correct most of the weaknesses that contribute to falls and strengthen you to minimise the risks.

For the older person, the thought of exercising may be very intimidating. However, you are never too old to begin exercising, and what’s more, you may even grow to like it. As your physiotherapist, we can design a program that takes into account your physical condition, needs and lifestyle. Gentle stretches and poses as are done in yoga and tai chi are perfect for the elderly and help get rid of joint pain, improve balance and posture, thereby reducing the risks of falls.

Weight training is no longer exclusive to athletes and younger people. It is equally important for the elderly as it helps to strengthen weak bones and give better support to the muscles. Strong arm and leg muscles help to counteract poor posture and gait abnormalities. You will find yourself being able to take the stairs instead of the elevator, carry parcels and open your door while maintaining your balance. If you do need a walking aid, you will be able to use it more efficiently.

We will also train you to navigate uneven surfaces and educate you on the right type of footwear. Many older people fall while wearing soft slippers on smooth floors or flip flops on wet or grassy surfaces. If you must cover your feet while indoors it is better to wear socks that have grips on the bottom. Also, remove rugs, electrical cords and other clutter that may cause you to trip. And don’t neglect proper lighting. Many falls occur at night in a bathroom that is not properly lit.

All of the above should put you in a much safer position and prevent you from falling, however, it is always good to have an emergency plan. An alert device worn around your neck makes it easy to call an operator if you have fallen and cannot get up. We will train you how to get up from the floor, but if you cannot, you should try crawling to the telephone. A lot can be done to minimise fall risks, so do not wait until something happens. Contact us today.