Balance for 2021
Published: January 5, 2021
A very common problem in the senior and elderly populations is decreased balance. In our facility, we frequently see patients who have sustained an injury—sometimes very serious injury—from falling. Regardless of whether the fall occurs at ground level, off a step, step stool, or ladder, the risk of serious injury is high.
Fortunately, there are several exercises that can be performed in the home with little to no special equipment, and these exercises can improve your overall balance. If you have noticed a decline in your own balance or that of a friend or loved one, we recommend you take some time to read through this SnugSafe guide and try the exercises to improve your balance, whether when moving about your home or in your community.
Additionally, your environment should be assessed to identify potential trip or slip hazards. Removing floor mats or area rugs, cords that run across the floor, putting abrasive or high visibility tape on steps or stairs to make them more visible or the edges less slippery are easy improvements. Adding lighting to both internal and exterior areas of the home to illuminate hazards is important. If possible, adding grab bars near the toilet or in the shower and non-slip materials to the floors of showers/bath are recommended as the bathroom is the site of a high percentage of falls within the home.
By improving the safety of your surroundings and your overall balance we hope you have a safe 2021 that is without falls!
Written by Matt Wylubski, PT/DPT, Director of Rehabilitative Services