The Back in Motion ® ommotion We're changing people’s lives, be a part of it. Better Balance Can Help Prevent Serious Injury
According to statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control in 2014, one in four older adults reported a fall (1). Falls are serious business and can cause major injuries. • One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury (1). • Each year, 2.8 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries (1). • Falls can cause broken bones, like wrist, arm, ankle, and hip fractures (1) . A fall can happen to anyone but the incidence increases with age. The good news is most falls can be prevented. Falls can happen anywhere, even within one’s home. In order to reduce the risk, the following is a list of at home modifications individuals can make to reduce their fall risk. • Remove any tripping hazards; this includes making sure all hallways, walkways, and pathways are free of clutter and making sure throw rugs are taped down or removed. • Make sure railings and grab bars are secure to increase safety on stairs and in the bathroom. • At this time of year it begins to get dark earlier in the evening so maximizing light to improve visibility is crucial.
As the temperature starts to dip our risk of slipping on black ice and snow covered pathways increases. The following is a list of winter safety tips to reduce your fall risk during the chilly upcoming months. • Slow down: plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time when out and about. A lot of falls happen when people are rushing. • Wear shoes that will maximize the friction between you and the slippery ground beneath. Rubber soled boots or crampon additions work great. • Take small, short, shuffling steps like a penguin to keep your center of gravity over your base of support, your feet. • Avoid carrying objects in your hands so that your arms can be used for an aid in balance. Impairments in balance, strength, and gait can also increase one’s risks for falls. Consulting with your physical therapist for exercises to address these impairments will help reduce the risk. If you feel that you are at risk of falling take advantage of our free consultations at one of our three locations. Reference:(1) https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/ falls/adultfalls.html
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