Preventing Fall Risks for the Elderly

The risk of falling in your home increases as you age and is responsible for many serious injuries that seniors experience. There are many factors that contribute to your risk especially the health of your body and the safety of your environment.

As you age you can develop:

  • deficits in eyesight that make seeing in your home at night more difficult.
  • urinary problems that increase urgency (more nighttime trips to the bathroom)
  • weakness in your arms and legs causing balance deficits.
  • low blood pressure and dizziness from medications

All of this can lead to a fear of falling that changes the way you walk and move.

Environmental factors inside your home that increase fall risk are:

  • pets
  • assistive devices
  • floor surfaces
  • poor lighting
  • Floor mats and rugs

Pets are great companions, but their toys can be a tripping hazard. You can stay safe by keeping your pets’ toys in a designated box, especially before going to bed. Placing a nightlight in the hallways and bathrooms throughout the house will help you navigate your home at night. Assistive devices are a great way to maintain your balance and stay safe while walking, but only if they are fitted and adjusted to the appropriate height. As physical therapists we have the tools to determine which assistive device will be best for you as well as making the correct adjustments.

At HPTS we will design an individualized treatment program based on your needs. Please call us for a Fall Risk Evaluation.

Krystal Emerson PT, DPT