“One out of three people ages 65 years and older falls each year, but fewer than half of those who fall talk to their healthcare provider about it” (Medscape, Mar 16, 2015). With winter in full swing once again, we’re not going to wait for you to talk with us about it. It’s important for you and your family to be aware of fall prevention strategies to avoid unexpected injuries.
Also, ask yourself three questions:
- Do you feel unsteady when standing or walking?
- Do you worry about falling?
- Have you fallen in the past year?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, you are considered to be at an increased risk of falling and further assessment is recommended.
If you answered NO, that’s great! Or, if you are not sure, how do you know how good your balance is? Have you ever tested it? Well, here’s your chance. Complete the three self-screening tests below to see where you stand.
Self Screening Tests for Home:
- Stand on one leg with eyes open
Stand at your kitchen counter, place your hands on the counter and bend one leg up at the knee, putting your weight on the other leg. Once you feel balanced, hover your hands over the counter and balance for as long as you can. Try to avoid swaying your body or moving your arms. If you start losing your balance, put your hands back down on the counter or put your other leg down. The goal is to balance for 30 seconds on EACH leg.
- Stand on one leg with eyes closed
Follow the same instructions as above. Once you are balancing on one leg, close your eyes and hold for as long as you can. The goal is to balance for 30 seconds on EACH leg.
- Tandem or staggered walking
Stand next to your kitchen counter. Keep one hand on the counter while you position one foot in front of the other, heel lining up with toe. Repeat this with the other foot to see if you can walk heel-to-toe for 10 steps without needing to hold on to the counter.
If you can’t do all of the above, then your balance could use some improvement. Give us a call and have our expert vestibular rehab therapists check things out. Call today. 644.8334