So let’s start with the statistics shall we? Did you know that one third of the senior population (people over the age of 65) falls each year? To make matters worse, many of these incidents go unreported so it is likely that this estimate is quite low. But why do we care so much about preventing falls? Here are some scary numbers that should get your attention:
- 87 percent of all fractures in the elderly are due to falls.
- When an older person falls, their hospital stays are almost twice as long as those who are admitted for any other reason. This not only becomes a huge expense, but also increases the risk of contracting other serious illnesses and most times results in significant deconditioning.
- One out of every 10 falls for those aged 85 and older results in a hip fracture.
- 25% of seniors who fracture a hip from a fall will die within six months of the injury.
- Even if you do not injure yourself seriously when you fall, 47 percent of seniors who fall cannot get up without assistance. This puts you at risk of dehydration, pressure sores, hypothermia, pneumonia and other complications.
People fall for many reasons. Maybe you were multitasking and got distracted. You can’t react as quickly as you used to or your muscles just aren’t strong enough to catch yourself before you fall. Or is your problem linked to dizziness? Perhaps the room starts spinning when you move your head too quickly and you lose your balance. No matter what the cause, it is important to narrow down what is at the center of your balance problem as no one person’s deficits are the same. Physical Therapists are trained in the art of movement dysfunction and will be able to ascertain what exactly is causing your balance problem and develop an individualized plan to attack it.
So, do you think you are at an increased risk of falls? If so – don’t delay! You do not have to be in pain to see a physical therapist! Preventing falls before they happen is the best way to avoid becoming another scary statistic!
In the meantime, here are some things that you can do in your home right now to make it a safer place and decrease your risk of falling!
- Remove obstacles inside and outside the home that could cause tripping ie. throw rugs, loose cables, shoes in the middle of the floor.
- Place no slip mats in the shower or bathtub.
- Place nightlights in the bedroom, bathroom, and hallways.
- Add non-slip treads to bare wooden steps.
- Store your necessities such as dishes, clothing, toiletries within easy reach.
- Wear sensible shoes that are properly fitting.
- Install grab bars in the shower and around the toilet.
- Install railings along staircases.
All of these are great ways to help you stay safe in your own home. Regular exercise on top of this will help to increase the flexibility and strength of your muscles and joints and will further decrease your risk of falling.
For those of you who are looking for a little more information about Robbins Rehabilitation then check out our website Robbinspt.com. You’ll find valuable information on all different body parts and can keep up with our future blog posts!
If you are in the Allentown area and are ready to get started right away then do not hesitate to give us a call at 610-841-3555 and get started on the path to healing right away.
That’s all for now! Feel free to post any questions in the comments section below and as always check back in to stay on top of all things Robbins Rehab!
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