Falling is the number one injury to Seniors. About 1/3 can expect to fall each year. The risk is greatly increased for people with Parkinsons – the imbalance, stiffness and festation that often accompanies this disease.
I have seen that even after minor falls, people become fearful of doing the same activity again. Major falls can of course be debilitating and even cause death.
So, where do most falls happen and how can one prevent them? It turns out – most falls happen at home. Your home has many hidden hazards such as loose carpets or rugs, cords, water and oil spills. Then there are clothes, slippers, and socks laying around on the floor. Keep a diligent watch over your floors, ask another person to look over your house with a fresh set of eyes, and remove anything that you can trip over. A neat, tidy home is essential for your safety.
The most hazardous area in your home is the bathroom – most slips happen while getting in and out of the shower. Install handrails, safety bars and nonskid mats on the floors. On stairs, make sure you also have solid handrails and hold on to them!
Another way many people fall is by carrying too much, which blocks the view of the ground. Preferably carry only in one hand, and use the other hand to support you, should you need to.
I have personally been told that of many falls that have occurred, when turning around too quickly in the house. Be aware of when turning – turn slowly and hold on to something, in case of sudden dizziness.
The most important step to avoid falls is of course to keep up your strength, balance and agility with regular exercise. Practice picking up your feet rhythmically and with extra height. A simple 5 minute session every day of small marches and squats should be adequate to see improvement it this area.