As temperatures dip and snow falls over the next couple of months, the staff at the Whitesburg ARH Rehabilitation Department say a few simple preventative measures can help ensure you donÕt become one of the many people injured during falls this winter.
Prevention can be the key to avoiding a fall:
• Prepare in advance for bad weather such as picking up groceries or supplies the day before the inclement weather is predicted.
• Pre-treat your sidewalks and walkways with salt.
• Reschedule errands for a date after the snow and ice clears.
There are risk factors for falls other than the weather. These risk factors include:
• Being older
• Difficulty with walking and balance
• Poor vision
• Leg or lower body weakness
• Medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke or diabetes
• Being on multiple medications
• Use of a walker, cane or crutches
• A history of falls.
A physical therapist can help you prevent falls by designing an individualized program for you. After reviewing your medical history and completing a physical examination, physical therapists can recommend specific strengthening and balance exercises based on your deficits. Balance may be improved with exercises that strengthen your hips, knees and ankles and/or your vestibular (balance) system.
For more information, call the Whitesburg ARH Rehab Department at 633- 3554.