Winter is here, and with cold weather comes slippery conditions. It is vital to take extra care to prevent slips and falls during this time. This is especially true for seniors as this can result in serious injury and be a life changing event.
Seniors are at risk of falling under the best of circumstances with one third of individuals over 65 falling every year. Falls in seniors are particularly dangerous as up to 30% will suffer moderate to severe injuries, such as broken hips and brain injuries. Many of these injuries require stints in rehab and increase the risk of early death. For falls that don’t lead to an injury, many individuals will develop a fear of falling, leading to less movement, causing weakness and an increased risk of falling.
With those serious consequences, most of us, especially seniors, should take precautions to prevent falls. A few tips include:
Finally you need to be sure your balance is as strong as it can be. A few key identifiers to see if you are at risk for a fall include:
These are some telltale signs you should get your balance checked by a healthcare professional. Falls amongst seniors have been such a problem that the CDC created a questionnaire you can take to identify if you are at risk for a fall. This test, along with a walking and balance screening, can identify if you should participate in a fall prevention program. You can also take the test on our website.
A fall prevention program can help people reduce their risk of falling by addressing the issues that cause falls such as mobility problems, weakness and dizziness. The key to a good fall prevention program is a Safety Overhead Harness (SOS) system which allows you to work on your balance while harnessed. This way, you know you will not fall, allowing you to challenge yourself and complete your exercises with less fear.
At FYZICAL Shady Grove, our therapists are specialists in fall prevention. This combined with our Safety Overhead Harness System allows us to identify and treat individuals at risk of falling. Reducing your fall risk will help you stay safe this winter.