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Fall Prevention: Improve Your Stability and Balance

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

One of the best ways to reduce fall-related injuries is to prevent the fall in the first place. We cannot always control our environment but we can work to improve balance and stability. Lab Health Physio is here to help! Falls can be dangerous, especially for older populations and are the number one cause of injuries in seniors. They can result in cuts, scrapes, fractures and even serious head injuries. There are many tips and tricks that you can implement that decrease your chances of falling and injuring yourself. Here are some tips that may help:

Clean up any clutter around your home. This includes newspapers on the ground, laundry lying around and removing pet toys scattered in high traffic areas.

Make sure you examine the floor for any loose carpet edges, slippery rugs or wood floorboards that may be sticking up.

Place furniture strategically. Make sure items like coffee tables, plants and electrical cords are not in high traffic areas.

Ensure your home is well lit. We rely heavily on our vision to keep ourselves balanced. Try to have brighter lights installed throughout the house, especially in areas such as narrow hallways or near stairs. It is also important to have night-lights in hallways and bathrooms for when you need to use the bathroom at night.

Limit wearing just socks inside. Socks on hardwood floors can be a bad mix. If you have hardwood flooring, try walking barefoot or wearing indoor shoes or slippers to allow for better grip.

Bathroom – Try to use non-slip mats in shower or bathtub, installing grab bars by toilets and bathtubs, raising the toilet seat or installing a plastic seat for the shower or tub.

Stay active! One of the most important factors for preventing falls is being physically fit and strong. Activities such as walking, biking, aquatic therapy and performing home workouts can reduce the risks of falls by increasing coordination, balance, strength and mobility.

If you are unsure how to start getting physically active, or are nervous about performing exercises, please book an assessment with Lab Health and our health care professionals can provide guidance and create a structured exercise plan to help you get stronger!

Here are some exercises that you can try to stay fit.

Practicing Sit to Stands

Stand upright with a chair behind you and your arms in front of you. Slowly bend your knees and push your hips back while you lean forwards, as though you are about to sit on the chair. Try to lower yourself and get as close to the chair without actually sitting on it and make sure you do not feel unbalanced. Pause for a few seconds at this point, and squeeze your buttocks and your leg muscles to stand back up to the starting position.

Side Lunges

Stand comfortably with feet hip width apart with a chair or wall beside you for support if needed. Take a step out to one side (for this example we'll be using the left leg) and bend your left knee as you push your hips back and lean towards the left leg. Hold this position while your is shifted towards the left leg, with the left leg bent and your right leg straight. Slowly push off the left leg and return to the starting position. You should perform this on both the left and right sides.

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