Falls: How can I help myself reduce the risk of falls?

In Australia, falls occur regularly and are the leading cause of injury based hospitalisations, representing 42% of hospital admissions. There is also a strong correlation between fall based admissions and high rates of associated deaths, with 40% deaths in Australia related to injury. 

Whilst falls can occur in any age group, the most common risk group are 65 and older. These falls often happen in the home and can result in serious injuries such as fractures, which may result in surgery. Although some falls are unavoidable, over half of the recorded falls are due to balance related slips/trips and can likely be prevented.

So how can you help yourself to prevent falls?

By completing regular exercise in small, manageable pieces, you can gradually build up endurance, strength and balance. A good habit is to participate in exercise daily, with current guidelines suggesting 30 minutes of exercise per day. If at first this is too challenging, it can be built up over time, for example completing 3 x 10 minutes of exercise per day.

  1. Walking in 5-10 minute periods daily (using walking aid if required).
  1. Heel raises
  1. Sit to stand
  1. Knee raises (if this is too difficult to complete unsupported, try holding onto a chair or countertop.)
  1. Heel to toe walking (hold onto countertop or wall for extra support if needed).

If you feel you would benefit from further help or a more specific program tailored to you, feel free to get in touch and a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist will be happy to help.

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