Why is this important? More than 30 billion dollars are spent on fall related injuries each year. One third of adults age 65 and older fall each year.
What is the good news? You can decrease your fall risk by 30% by understanding and addressing your fall risks.
Age: Balance decreases with age but strength training and balance training regularly can decrease your risk of falls. Studies have shown that strength training and walking without specific balance training does not protect you from falls. Strength training with balance training exercises have the greatest protective effect after 6 months. A more vigorous program (Otago Exercise Program) showed a protective effect after 8 weeks.
Previous history of falls: Many falls are not reported if there was no injury. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about any history of falls.
Difficulty walking or movement disorders
Poor Vision: Get regular exams to address any impairments.
Medications: Taking 4 or more medications increases your risk of falls. Talk to your doctor about any side effects which can affect your balance.
Orthostatic hypotension: Talk to your doctor about any symptoms such as dizziness with position changes.
External factors: Keep your home environment safe by adding handrails or grab bars, removing loose rugs, keeping the floors clear, adding lighting in hallways or near the bed, and removing unstable furniture. Choose your footwear wisely. Wearing socks, slippers or flip-flops increases the risk of falls compared to canvas or athletic shoes. Keep your hands free by using a fanny pack or backpack.
What are some examples of balance exercises?
Single leg balance on various surfaces
Sit to stand from a chair without using hands
**It is important to be safe while challenging your balance. See a physical therapist to provide guidance if you do not know which exercises are best for you.
Tell you doctor or physical therapist if you experience a fall
Wear stable footwear
Keep your home free of obstacles
Add balance training to your exercise regimen. If you are not sure what to do, ask a physical therapist for help
White Flint Location:
11820 Parklawn Drive
Rockville, MD 20852
Aquatic Therapy Location:
Kids First Pool
4888 Boiling Brook Parkway
Rockville MD, 20852
The Jewish Community Center
6125 Montrose Road
Rockville, MD 20852
To reach all clinics:
Phone number for all clinics: 301-881-2273 | Fax number for all clinics: 301-881-3880