Daily activities require bending, reaching and turning, and shifting your weight as you stand up or sit
down or walking. When you have unstable joints or weak muscles, activities may place too big of a
demand on your brain causing dizziness. By assessing your daily life activities that cause you discomfort
or dizziness, you can begin to minimize your risk of falling.
Follow these steps to lower your risk of falling:
- Staying active can help you feel better, improve your balance, and make your legs stronger
- Exercises that improve your balance can help prevent falls
- Make your legs stronger. Do strengthening activities at least 2 days a week
- Work with a Physical Therapist to create a plan of care to restore your sense of balance
- Find out if you have a balance problem. See a doctor to rule out any serious medical conditions.
Once that is done, find a Physical Therapist who will work with you and create an exercise program that
is tailored to your physical abilities. By following this program, you will strengthen your body and
decrease the disruptions with your balance.
- Safety and prevention is key. You don’t want to restrict your activities or create a sense of inability to
live your life, but you should avoid activities that put you at risk, such as standing on a chair to change a
light bulb. You should also be aware of the activities that require you to live your life and approach
them with caution, such as rising quickly from a lying or seated position to standing or bending down too
fast. Ironically, inactivity can increase your risk for falling by decreasing your ability to react to sudden
changes in the environment. Maintaining strength and flexibility, you will increase your coordination
and help you maintain your balance in a variety of conditions.
- Take charge of your physical condition as you age. It is inevitable that physical limitations will occur as
we age, but if we take charge of this by exercising regularly and getting physicals, you will keep some of
the physical limitations at bay. Maintain your vision with regular eye exams, always find out the side
effects of any medication you take (prescription or over the counter), and speak with your Physical
Therapist on how to reduce your risk of falling.
- Reduce environmental risks by keeping your home free of clutter, loose cords, area rugs, and any
obstacles. Keep your home well lit by installing switches at both entrances into a room. Use night lights,
and add additional lighting to staircases. Install handrails on staircases and in the bathroom and bathtub
area. The majority of falls occur in the home. If you are unsure if you have assessed your home
completely, you can make an appointment to have a home safety inspection.
- Don’t wait to take action if you are having balance issues. Do not wait until you have fallen. Be
honest with yourself if you are experiencing balance problems. Get your balance assessment with your
Physical Therapist to nip any issues causing the problem. Prevention is the best medicine, and catching
something early is key to recovery. Talk to the doctor about whether it is safe to drive, and if you need a
cane to help steady you to avoid a fall.