The Canadian Physiotherapy Association has some great tips for fall prevention on their PhysioCanHelp.ca website. The full list can be found here but some of the highlights include:
- Before you get up out of a chair or up from bed, wait 10 seconds before rising to your feet to prevent dizziness, and get your bearings before you begin walking;
- Install handrails and grab-bars in the bathrooms and stairways;
- Concentrate on what you’re doing while you’re doing it, and move at a speed that feels comfortable;
- Put everyday items on the bottom shelf;
- Avoid hyper extending the neck. Extending the neck backwards can cut off circulation to the brain, causing a blackout or even stroke.
- Slow down. Be conscious of risky situations and hazardous areas;
- • Remove reading glasses when walking;
- Plant both feet securely on the ground before getting out of the car;
- Wear a good pair of lace-up walking shoes that will support your feet and provide necessary cushioning for your joints;
- Use aids for walking, balancing, hearing and seeing as prescribed by your physiotherapist, occupational therapist, or physician – view them as sources of strength to help you do things, not signs of weakness.
Physiotherapists don’t just treat the injuries that can result from a fall, they can also work with people to assess their risk of falling, helping to then address balance and mobility issues to prevent an incident from occurring. Not only that, a physio can work with an individual to assess whether or not a mobility aid, like a walker or a cane, could be beneficial, and then help with getting used to the aid and using it properly.
Seeing a physiotherapist does not require a doctor’s recommendation, but they can definitely work in concert with a healthcare team to make sure the best support is being provided to help prevent falls in older adults. You can find a Physiotherapist in BC on the Physiotherapy Association of BC’s website and get support to stay mobile and help prevent injuries from falls.