As you age, your risk for falling dramatically increases. These falls can change your life in many ways. When discussing fall prevention, there are 2 main factors to consider. Assessing and making changes in your environment and fitness level should be the primary focus when trying to prevent falls.
1. Create a Safe Environment at Home
Does your home have any obstacles in your walking path? Are there any rugs present? Is there enough lighting throughout? Do your shoes fit properly? Do you have grab bars in your bathroom?
If you want to stay as independent as possible, try to check off this list when examining your home.
• Proper Lighting
• Space to roam throughout
• Type of flooring is even and the same height; are rugs present
• Furniture is the right height 20” from the floor
• Cabinets are easy to reach
• Support Bars are installed
• Vision Checks yearly
• Proper Fitting Footwear
• Front Entrance is easily accessible
• Medicines that do not have counteractive side effects
2. Start a Fitness Program.
[Before starting a fitness program, always make sure to consult your doctor.]
A well designed fitness plan includes a variety of exercises and should include the following:
• Water Therapy. This will reduce joint stress, assist in eliminating inflammation, and strengthen muscles.
• Strength exercises. Participate in exercises that specifically focus on your small muscle groups to improve your overall balance.
• Dynamic exercises. These are functional exercises that incorporate more than one movement.
• Balance Apparatus. These are machines that are specifically geared towards improving balance and proprioception by teaching the body and brain to control weak muscles and joints. Examples are Biodex Balance Machines that help record your balance challenges and track areas of improvements.
At Sterling Estates, we strive to improve our Residents’ balance and fall risk. We accomplish this by engaging them in Balance Challenges, Warm Water Therapy, Dyna-Fit Classes, and One-on-one Personal Training. All of these exercises help to improve balance and proprioception.
Focusing on Strength, Balance and Room Safety guarantee you are heading in the right direction to reducing your risk of falling!