Preventing a Fall

Falls can diminish your ability to lead an active and independent life. There usually are several reasons for a fall, and the more risk factors you have, the greater your risk.

The reasons for falls are complex and include:

  • Being 80 years old or older 

  • Leg muscle weakness 

  • Difficulty with balance or walking 

  • Vision problems (cataracts, macular degeneration, wearing bifocals) 

  • Medical conditions that limit your ability to get around, such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, or diabetes 

  • Conditions that cause confusion, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease 

  • Depression 

  • Taking more than 4 medications at the same time or psychoactive medications (such as sedatives or antidepressants) 

  • Using a cane or other walking device 

  • Home hazards (throw rugs, pets underfoot) 

  • Low blood pressure 

  • A history of previous falls 


HOW A PHYSICAL THERAPIST CAN HELP

If you are worried about falling or if you recently had a fall, your physical therapist can conduct a screening of your fall risk. If the screening shows that you are at risk, the therapist will perform a thorough evaluation, and design an exercise and training program to improve your balance and strength, and may include:

  • Balance Training 

  • Walking and Moving Improvement 

  • Learning to Multitask Safely 

  • Strength Training 

  • Aerobic Training
  • Education
  • Fear Management
  • Use of community programs

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