Would you like to learn 4 tips to improve your (or your loved one’s) physical and mental health? Shouldn’t we try to prevent falls before they happen?
Traditionally, physical therapy treatments are requested after a hospital visit or a fall. While these are certainly times where one benefits from physical therapy, why not also take some preventative measures?
Welcome to MobilePT’s new blog. My name is Dan Sheehy, and I am a Physical Therapist and the owner of Mobile PT, based in San Diego’s North County. I am excited to bring you educational insights on how tailor-made, in-home physical therapy and occupational therapy can benefit seniors in the long run, both body and mind. Seniors still have so much to give and experience! Mobile PT strives to keep seniors strong and secure, decreasing fear and risk of falling. Our mission is to keep seniors confident and safe where they live to maximize their quality of life and maintain their independence.
Plus…..our therapists come to you! No transportation worries or having to get yourself or your loved one to the outpatient clinic.
Fall Prevention – 4 Tips
According to the National Council on Aging: “Many people think falls are a normal part of aging. The truth is, they are not. Most falls can be prevented—and YOU have the power to reduce your risk.” Exercising, managing your medications, having your vision checked, and making your living environment safer are all steps you can take to prevent a fall.
1. Exercise to improve your balance and strength.
Discuss with your doctor the best type of exercise for you. There are many ways to increase movement and strengthen your muscles while enhancing your balance. Not to mention the fact that it feels good!
2. Talk openly with your healthcare provider about fall risks & prevention.
Include a full review of your medications. Medications can work differently in your body as you age, leading to sleepiness and feeling dizzy which contributes to falls.
3. Have your eyes and feet checked.
Your brain registers information from both the feet and eyes. These two body systems are vital to maintain your balance. Your feet and eyes give feedback to your brain so it can calculate where your body is in space and sense what type of surface or surface-angle you are walking on. When foot sensation, for instance, is interrupted by a disease like diabetes, or one has an outdated eyeglass prescription, fall-risk increases greatly. Good vision and healthy feet with comfortable (well-fitted and supportive) shoes will help in preventing falls.
4. Make your home as safe as possible.
Good lighting, dry surfaces, grab bars, de-cluttering the floor and stairs; all of these can go a long way to making your home accident free. Store items in cabinets that do not require a step stool. Have proper handrails on your stairs. These are easy ways to make your home free from fall-risk.
I hope this blog on quick tips to prevent falls is a convenient resource for seniors, their families and the people who care for them. I will provide insight into the unique challenges in caring for seniors, share tips on improving balance, strength, posture, and mobility. I will discuss how PT and OT can help reduce the need for some medications and address the many safety concerns that seniors face daily. And most importantly, I will share with you some of the success stories I have witnessed over my 20 years in the Physical Therapy field. Seniors are amazing and full of unique life experiences. I love the relationship we build with our patients who become like family. Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below! I welcome your ideas and questions.