April is Falls Awareness Month
Over 50? Take this quiz!
Have you recently thought about what might happen if you trip and fall? Falls happen to everyone at any age (think about all the scraped knees of childhood), but as we get older, a fall can have greater consequences. Some people are more at risk for falling than others, and many of the reasons for that are things we can make better. The first step in dealing with the problem of falling is to reduce your risk of having one in the first place.
How’s your balance?
It seems obvious that good balance is key to avoiding a fall, and it is! Try standing on 1 leg without holding on to anything; all adults under age 70 should be able to hold this for at least 30 seconds without falling over. Older adults may find they begin using furniture to get around the house or having trouble getting out of a chair without using their hands. If either of these apply to you or someone you know, it is time for a balance assessment. At SquareOne we are experts at deep-diving into balance problems. We use a variety of assessment tools to identify the specific reasons for poor balance (there are several!), and we use personalised exercises and small group classes to address those issues.
In addition to poor balance, the following, among other things, may contribute to a higher risk of falling:
- Medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure can lead to feelings of dizziness and weakness and make you more likely to fall. Having regular check-ups with your GP is important to know your blood sugar and blood pressure levels and how to manage them.
- Poor eyesight makes it more difficult to avoid obstacles under your feet, and this is worse at night or in the dark. Regular vision checks with your optometrist will help keep you seeing your best.
- Poorly fitted footwear can lead to sore feet and contribute to slips and trips. Be sure to wear supportive shoes that close over your foot and don’t cause blisters.
- Not enough physical activity (less than 150 minutes per week) makes you more at risk for having a fall. Staying mobile and strong will help you stay upright. If you aren’t sure, your physiotherapist will help you find appropriate activities to incorporate activity into your life.
Know your fall risk factors
This questionnaire (with thanks to SA Health) is for anyone aged over 50. If you answer “Yes” to any of the questions, we recommend discussing this with your health professional.
If you would like to know more about the benefits of exercise and reducing your risk factors for having a fall, please contact our Titled Gerontological Physiotherapist Jennifer Brittain, 9968 3424 or book an appointment here