“I’ve had a fall! Now what?”
Once the dust has settled after having a fall at home, you may wonder what your next steps should be.
Here are a few tips:
- Think about the factors that led up to your fall. Where and when was it? How were you feeling at the time? What were you doing? This information is really helpful in determining the cause of the fall and how to prevent another one.
- Make an appointment to see a health professional. Armed with your notes from #1, discuss the event with your doctor or nurse and they will work with you to investigate medical causes for falling.
- Get active! One of the biggest issues after falling may be a loss of confidence in your ability to move around safely. The problem then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; the more a person limits their activity, the less active they are able to be. At SquareOne, your physiotherapist will conduct a series of tests to examine your strength, flexibility, balance and fitness and build you a plan to address your needs.
What kind of activity should I be doing?
“Exercise” is a general term, but there are several more specific types of exercise, each with its own purpose. Your physiotherapist is trained to prescribe the correct type and amount of exercise to address your individual needs.
Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and lungs to be able to cope with activities such as walking uphill, jogging, cycling etc. It is proven to be important for the overall health of the body and mind, and for fending off diseases such as bowel cancer and heart disease. The World Health Organisation recommends that all adults regardless of age and disease aim for 150 minutes of aerobic exercise every week.
Strength training increases the size and strength of the muscles of your arms, legs and trunk. Muscle strength is important in allowing you to lift the shopping bags, the laundry basket and to get up from a low chair. It is also a key component in keeping your bones strong. Without resistance training, even very fit athletes can develop low bone density. The World Health Organisation recognises the importance of strength training and recommends all adults do 2 sessions per week.
Balance training is another type of exercise altogether. It involves challenging your ability to stay upright in different types of scenarios. For example, perhaps you are good at standing still with both feet on the floor, but tend to fall over if you need to stand on one foot to put your socks on. Another example might be a fear of moving quickly, as when you need to get on to a moving escalator.
All of the above activities are important for keeping your balance, in different ways. If you feel you would benefit from a customised assessment and exercise program to address any of the above, please contact our Titled Gerontological Physiotherapist Jennifer Brittain, 9968 3424 or book an appointment here