Fallen and Can’t Get Up?: Balance in the Elderly

Have you experienced recent missteps or loss in balance recently? Falls are one of the most common reasons for hospitalizations and hip fractures in the elderly. In 2013, 2.5 million nonfatal falls among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 734,000 of these patients were hospitalized1. As we get older and remain more independent in our homes, fall risks and fall prevention strategies must be in the forefront of our minds. Fall risks can be environmental or physical. Some environmental risk factors include rugs, bathmats, poor lighting, uneven or loose steps. Physical factors include taking more than 5 medications, blood pressure that drops when you lay down or sit up, loss of leg or arm strength, foot problems and vision problems. Even if your recent fall did not cause an injury tell your doctor about it. A trained physical therapist may help you with restoring balance, strength and teach you how to safely stand on your own after a fall.

In the meantime here are a couple of tips to prevent falls outside and inside your home:

Outside:

Inside:

 
1Web–based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS)[online]. Accessed May 27, 2015.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Scapular Winging

Scapular winging is a condition wherein the shoulder blade moves excessively away from its normal position on the thoracic region of the back. This can cause pain and weakness as well as loss of function and can be a problem cosmetically.