Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Lowdown on Falls

Physical therapist Joe Palmer, PT, DPT, OMPT,
CSCS, CMTPT, of Active Life and Sports
presenting on dizziness, imbalance and falls
at GBMC's Time for Me event
If you’re approaching retirement age, listen up! You may be at a higher risk for falling and injuring yourself. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that people lose strength and flexibility as they age. Activity levels tend to decline and other health issues may affect people’s balance or depth perception. You may not feel much different than you did at 40 or 50, but there are a few precautions you should begin taking in order to keep yourself healthy and safe. Here are some easy things you can do now to prevent a fall with injury:
  • Keep clutter at bay – things like shoes, power cords and small rugs are easy to trip over if you’re not paying attention
  • Make sure your home is well-lit
  • Ensure that staircases have secure railings and non-slip treads
  • Talk to your primary care physician or pharmacist about medications you’re taking, how the drugs interact with each other and side effects they may cause
  • Get your vision checked regularly
  • Consider installing “grab bars” in the restroom and applying non-slip strips to the bottom of your shower/tub
  • Exercise! Any type of activity is helpful, but weight-bearing exercises are known to boost bone and muscle strength
  • Speak with your physician about taking calcium and vitamin D supplements to support bone health
  • Be cautious with alcohol consumption and use of over-the-counter medications
  • Wear shoes that are comfortable and fit properly
  • Can’t reach something you need? Call a family member, friend or neighbor to help you. It’s not an inconvenience – your loved ones don’t want you to get hurt!
If you’ve fallen more than twice in the past year or are fearful of falling, please consult with your primary care physician for more fall prevention strategies specific to your needs. Don’t have a primary care physician? Visit to find one who is right for you. GBMC recently hosted a health lecture in conjunction with physical therapists at Active Life and Sports on the subject of dizziness, imbalance and falls. Watch the presentation now!

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