Falling is not a normal part of aging

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Falling is Not a Normal Part of Aging

Recent CDC research reports that older caucasian men are more likely than any other group to experience death from unintentional falls. From personal clinical experience, I can say I am not very surprised. Generally, women tend to show a more positive attitude towards taking an active role in addressing their health issues, and I’m not the first to notice.

You probably already know that older adults are more at risk for falls due to age-related changes in their bodies that can affect balance and coordination. These changes can be compounded by medical conditions, medications, and other factors that can increase the risk of falls. It is important for older adults to be aware of their individual risk factors and take steps to prevent falls, such as exercising regularly and discussing their concerns with a healthcare provider.

The CDC reports that all adults over the age of 65 are at risk for a fall. However, falls are not a normal part of aging.

Falls Graph_CDC
source: CDC

What steps can you take to reduce your risk of falling?

  1. If you have experienced a fall, or if you feel unsteady when standing or walking, report it to your physician. Only 1 in 4 older adults actually report their falls, and this only leads to a greater chance of more falls.
  2. Review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist. Some medicines increase your risk of falls and the benefits might not outweigh the risks.
  3. Have your eyes checked yearly. Not only does poor vision increase your risk of falls, but eye exams can catch other issues early on.
  4. Stay active. Physical activity, strength exercises, and balance exercises can dramatically help to improve your safety and reduce your risk of falls.
  5. Make your home safer by removing trip hazards and making appropriate modifications. You can find many suggestions here.

What sort of exercise helps improve balance?..

Exercises that challenge your balance, of course. That’s why it is not enough to do your routine daily activity and expect your balance to improve. Mobile Rehab helps patients develop an individualized exercise plan to help them improve their balance in a safe manner, in the convenience of their home, because the exercises that matter most are those that you can carry out safely and independently over the long term, not just when you are with the therapist.

If you are eager to get started, here is an exercise suggestion, the standing side leg raise.

  1. Stand up tall beside a sturdy table or counter for support

  2. Keep the exercising leg straight and look forward

  3. Lift the leg out to the side and return (the weight in the picture is optional)

  4. Repeat 10 times, take a short break, and repeat for another set

  5. Turn around and repeat on the other leg

If you have any difficulty, fear, or unique health conditions that make this exercise too challenging to perform, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation about how we can help you get stronger, more active, and remain independent at home for the long run.

Mobile Rehab provides in-home physical therapy. Our experienced physical therapists create personalized treatment plans, tailored to the specific needs and abilities of the patient.