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Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!



Fall Statistics

Did you know that one in four older adults (65 years and older) fall each year? In fact millions of Americans are often treated in the emergency department every year with over 800,000 of those resulting in a fracture or head injury. Falling once, doubles your risk for falling again. 

What causes falls?

There are multiple factors and conditions that may contribute to falling. Some include lower body weakness, balance, vision, and home hazards.


What can I do to prevent falls?

  1. Exercise to improve balance and strength

  2. Review your medications with your healthcare provider

  3. Have your vision checked

  4. Make your home safer


Exercise to improve balance and strength

Exercise is a great way to reduce your risk for falls. Exercises such as walking, resistance training, and Tai Chi are all excellent ways to improve your strength, balance, and overall confidence. Seeing a physical therapist can help you determine which exercises are appropriate and safe for you to do. Remember to ask your healthcare provider to see which exercise program is right for you!


Review your medications!

Have your doctor or pharmacist review your medications because medications may have a different effect on our bodies as we age. Also, some medications may have side effects that may make you dizzy and less alert. 

Have your vision checked!

Make sure that you have your vision checked at least once a year and update your eyeglasses when necessary. Conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts may impair your vision and increase your risk for falls!


Make your home safer!

About half of all falls occur at home. So here’s how to make your home safer:

  1. Remove things from the floor that you can trip over such as books, clothes, shoes, and slippahs.

  2. Remove or double tape throw rugs to prevent them from slipping. 

  3. Keep frequently used items in cabinets that you can reach easily without a step stool.

  4. Install grab bars in the shower and near the toilet.

  5. Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and shower floors.

  6. Improve lighting around your home by adding lights near staircases, hallways, etc. 


If you need Physical Therapy to improve your strength and balance. Give Kailua Wellness Center a call today at (808) 261-8181.


Dr. Jun Bradley Cadelinia, PT DPT (Physical Therapist)

References

1. “Facts about Falls.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 May 2023, www.cdc.gov/falls/facts.html


2. Bergen G, Stevens MR, Burns ER. Falls and Fall Injuries Among Adults Aged ≥65 Years — United States, 2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:993–998. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6537a2


3. O’Loughlin J et al. Incidence of and risk factors for falls and injurious falls among the community-dwelling elderly. American journal of epidemiology, 1993, 137:342-54.


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