Feeling Unstable? Try These 4 Suggestions
It is estimated that one in three Americans over the age of 65 falls each year, and two-thirds of those will fall again within six months. Falling has the potential to cause serious injury such as broken bones, and can also damage one’s confidence, sometimes quite significantly.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to help prevent dangerous falls:
- Remain physically active. Simple daily exercise will help improve and maintain muscle and bone strength. Look for high quality shoes that offer enough support to keep you moving comfortably and securely through your exercises and daily movement. If you feel even slightly off balance, speak to your physician about getting a referral to a physical therapist. They can help evaluate areas of weakness and guide you to improving both strength and balance to get confidence back in your step.
- Try Tai Chi. It helps teach balance and coordination. Yoga and dancing can also be beneficial. Find a local class or start online and plan regular sessions
- Do a home safety check. Eliminate throw rugs and floor clutter, add grab bars to your bathroom, and have one phone that’s accessible from the floor in the case of a fall.
- Check your medicine cabinet. Know the side effects of any medication, prescription or otherwise. Many medications have lightheadedness or vertigo as a side effect. Another hidden cause can be the nutrients potentially depleted by common medications. For example, acid suppression meds and deplete iron which can lead to a common form of lightheadedness, anemia. Speak with your doctor about better options. If that conversation does not go very far, consider seeking out a trained integrative medicine provider from our University of Arizona Fellowship Program to have a deeper discussion about alternatives.
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