Here’s remorse but a rather interesting fact to start with, one in every four older Americans falls every year. These falls are known to be the leading cause of injuries, both fatal as well as non-fatal for people above the age of sixty-five years. Falling while performing routine tasks, walking or jogging can pose a grave risk of hip fractures, broken bones, and concussions, or head injuries. These create a fear if not a grave injury making it difficult for the seniors to stay active in their senile years. Physical therapy helps in such cases where it can also improve the balance and help the seniors stay active in their day to day life.
Try these activities for improved fall safety
The positive or the ‘glass-half-full’ perspective for this whole article is that the falls can be easily prevented and avoided. In case you look after an aging parent or a grandparent, you can assist them to stay healthy by reducing the risk of falling due to imbalance. The key is to identify the triggers that cause imbalance and where to look for appropriate assistance. Though fall prevention may not feel like a lively topic but can be extremely important to be aware of these activities.
Watch out for warning signs
It is rare for falls to occur without warning. People have been now to display signs of instability and frailty. Recognize the warning signs when they come forth and be sure to address them when visiting the doctor for your appointments. Some of these signs include unsteadiness while walking over uneven surfaces, experiencing side effects from certain medications, and blurring of vision in the midst of performing certain tasks. Worsening eyesight can make it harder to identify obstacles in your path making you prone to fall and risk getting hurt. Be wary and mindful as medications like diuretics and antihistamines can compromise the consumer’s stability and balance.
Improve balance and gait
Seniors can be encouraged to improve their mobility by seeing vestibular therapy for their balance and gait-related disorders. This is a branch of physical therapy that is rarely known or adopted by elders. It is highly recommended as the experts equip the individual with maneuvers that can help them when they are experiencing a dizzy spell. The therapeutic exercises are aimed at rebuilding hand-eye coordination and flexibility. Discuss your previous fall instances, if any, with the therapist in detail to help them design an appropriate physical therapy treatment plan for you.
Eliminate hazardous items
A good tip to prevent falls amongst the elderly apart from seeking physical therapy can be remodeling their surroundings to suit their needs. Observe the surroundings, the living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and everything in between, and filter out all the belongings that may deem to be dangerous. Move aside old boxes, electrical cords, and phone wires to keep the walkways. Other hurdles like coffee tables, magazine racks, and plant stands should be relocated from high-traffic areas. Always take care of loose rugs, wooden floorboards, and fix cracked or broken stairs. These are some useful tricks to significantly reduce the risk of falling.
Lastly, try assistive devices
The most common advice for the senile population from doctors and physicians worldwide is to use canes or a walker for a steady stride. Some other useful assistive devices include handrails on both sides of the stairways, trading the normal flooring with non-slip treads for bare-wood steps, placing grab bars near the shower or tub, and using a raised toilet seat or one with armrests. Make sure to implement these practices with the elders to guarantee their safety and health.