Tips to reduce your fall risk
If you missed our Let’s Talk: Balance and environmental hazards presentation last month fear not! We have outlined our top tips for reducing the risk of a fall in your home below.
Create clear walking paths
Arrange furniture so that you have a clear walking path, remove small furniture and clutter from hallways and stairs. Avoid having cords spread across walkways.
Make sure carpets are secure
Use non-slip rugs and mats or secure rugs to the floor with double sided tape if necessary.
Improve your level of balance
The inclusion of balance training in exercise programs has been shown to reduce falls risk by 17%. This is because by improving balance you can considerably improve postural reflex speed. This allows you to react to external forces quickly to remain upright.
Build strength through exercise
As we age our bodies often lose muscle mass and strength, this is a condition called sarcopenia. The resulting weakness is a risk factor for falls. Healthy Connections staff recommend individually prescribed lower body strengthening exercises to combat this.
Investigate medication side effects
There is strong evidence that falls risk is increased by medications which act on the central nervous system, this includes medication used to treat depression, sleep disorders and anxiety. If you are concerned about this, contact your doctor to look at alternate options.
Overall, the best way to reduce the risk of falling is to take a multifactorial perspective. Prevention comes from a combination of balance and strength exercises, environmental awareness, behaviour modification and medication adjustments if necessary.