A Balanced Approach to Falls Prevention

Is falling a natural part of aging?  Definitely not!  It’s often a lack of knowledge → that leads to a lack of preventive action → which results in falls.  Quite often it is the simple things we overlook that will ‘trip us up’.  Preventing falls can be as easy as a few simple changes to your lifestyle and remaining mindful of your environment.     CAN WE DO A LINK TO A QUIZ???

1.  Manage your health

  • Review your lifestyle – are there things you need to change to enjoy a healthy lifestyle
  • Take control of long-term health conditionsFruit-and-Veges
  • Have regular health checks

 2.  Eat well

  • Eat at least three meals a day with plenty of fruit and vegetables and high calcium foods
  • Add sunshine to your life to maximise your Vitamin D – you only need about 10 minutes per day
  • Drink plenty of water – aim for 6 to 8 glasses per day

3. Be active

  • Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per dayOlder-couple-exercising
  • Choose activities you enjoy and make sure they cause you to huff and puff at least a little
  • Focus on activities that include strength work for strong bones, balance such as 1 legged exercises for strong glute and leg muscles and flexibility to keep you supple

4.  Walk Tall

  • Stand up straight and look ahead – not where you’re about to put your foot
  • Consider appropriate walking aids that are adjusted to allow you to walk upright – no slouching allowed!

5.  Improve your balanceLady-Balancing

  • Balance can be improved by simple exercises that can easily be done at home
  • Find an Exercise Physiologist for safe activities to regain balance, strength and confidence
  • Go to www.essa.org.au (Exercise and Sports Science Australia) and click on  ‘Find an Accredited Member’.  Look for an AEP (Accredited Exercise Physiologist) in your area for sound advice.

6. Foot care and safe footwear

  • See a podiatrist if you have foot pain or can no longer maintain good foot and nail health
  • Do foot exercises to improve circulation – ankle circles, heel to toe rises are a good start
  • Shoes that fit well.  It can be hard to give up high heels but low broad heel with a good grip are much better to prevent tripping and laces or velcro even better to ensure your ankle doesn’t roll over and cause you to fall

7. Regular eyesight checksEye-Chart-Test

  • Have your vision tested regularly
  • Take time to adjust to new lenses and sudden changes of light
  • Take extra care when wearing bifocal or multifocal glasses

8. Manage your meds

  •  Keep an up to date list of medicines you take
  •  Ask your Doctor questions and learn about your medicines
  • Get your medicines reviewed yearly

 9. Identify, remove and report hazards

  • Have bright lights in your home
  • Remove unnecessary clutter and mats that you can skid or trip on
  • Maintain pathways and steps, don’t leave hoses or rakes lying around
  • If you see a hazard, report it to the most appropriate authority

Try this simple exercise to get you started

Toe Taps – holding onto a bench or a very sturdy chair

a) take weight onto your left leg – bend your knee slightlyStanding-Toe-Taps-1Standing-Toe-Taps-3Standing-Toe-Taps-2

b) point your right foot out to the front of your body and touch the ground → out to the side→ to the back→to the centre   (feet together)   **                           

Repeat 6 – 10 times 

Now turn around, stand on your right leg and do the same actions with your left leg **

**Remember to keep your supporting knee slightly bent at all times.

Sunshine Coast Exercise Physiology