Sheryl King, PT teaches Balance & Mobility where participants practice simple exercises to improve strength, flexibility and endurance. She is a physical therapist at 41 Hitchcock Way in Santa Barbara. We also have three other physical therapy locations in downtown Santa Barbara, Goleta and Lompoc. Visit www.SansumClinic.org/physical-therapy for more information.
There are many factors that can contribute to falls in older adults. Many falls are preventable. Poor lighting, poorly maintained sidewalks, varying curb heights and throw rugs are a few examples of environmental issues in the home and in the community that pose risks for falling.
The presence of certain medical conditions has been shown to increase risk of falls. Diabetes, stroke, Parkinson's Disease, to name a few, can affect an individual's balance, strength and mobility.
Changes in the body can affect balance and mobility. Changes in vision, decreased muscle strength — especially in the legs and hips — and less flexibility can result in falls.
There are things you can do to decrease your risk of falling!
Exercise on a regular basis can increase muscle strength and flexibility.
High blood pressure and heart problems can cause dizziness that may cause falls. Remember to get up from bed slowly if you have heart problems.
Prescription medications and over-the-counter medications can cause side effects such as drowsiness and dizziness. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about the possible side effects one might expect from certain medications.
Know that you can make a change and decrease your risk for falling.