Falls have been noted to be the leading cause of injury-related deaths for Americans over the age of 65. But tending to things that may lead to future falls is the best way to avoid them. Let’s start with muscle weakness, the muscles in the ankles and thighs can be strengthened by exercises that improve strength and balance as well as lower your risk of fractures.
Another leading cause are medications, many act as a sedative which can throw someone fragile off balance. Taking four or more drugs is much riskier and is something many people of an older age constantly juggle with in their daily lives. The best way of aiding most people in that category would be to change the dosage or a change in regimen.
People with vision problems are another group of individuals at high risk. An example would be cataracts, which impair depth perception, and can trigger falls. Having cataract surgery or updating your eyeglass prescription can be a huge help.
Low blood pressure is also a happens to be one of the major reasons why people get a “swimming sensation” in their head after rising too quickly or lying down. The older the person, the more vulnerable they are due to cardiovascular disorders. The best way of accessing your risk would be to ask your doctor for a standing blood pressure reading.
There are also two kinds of tests you could do in order to check your balance. It is a good idea to practice this while having someone standing by to observe you or catch you if necessary. The first test is called Romberg’s test and involves you standing in front of a perpendicular reference point. Standing with both your feet and heels together and eyes open for one minute and repeat for another minute with your eyes closed. Your spotter should be able to see if you sway in relation to the reference point.
Another way to test your balance would be to mark a spot 10 feet ahead of a chair and sit down with your back touching the backrest. On your mark, get set, GO! You should stand up and walk to the spot at a normal pace and sit. Between 8-10 seconds is normal and anywhere from 11-19 seconds indicates moderate risk of falling; 20 + signals high risk.
Lastly, you should eliminate any probable trip factors such as rugs, electrical cords, and clutter.