Senior Citizen's Guide to Pittsburgh 2016 Spring/Summer Edition - page 10

important thing to do during yearly exams. Your doctor
should ask if you’ve had a fall in the last 12 months. If
he does not ask, then you should tell him if you’ve had
a fall in the last year. Your doctor should perform a fall
risk assessment and discuss health concerns that may
contribute to potential falls. When you meet with your
doctor, have your vision checked to see if you need a
new prescription for glasses. Have your doctor review
your list of medications and make adjustments if there
are drugs that make you dizzy or lightheaded.
Exercise is one of the best ways to prevent fall-
related injuries. For example, resistance training can
help improve muscle strength and coordination, thereby
significantly reducing the risk of injury. A good fall
prevention exercise program will also include exercises
for posture and flexibility. For those with difficulty
standing for prolonged periods, many of these exercises
can be adapted for the chair.
If your house or apartment presents a danger due
to the way it’s furnished, rearrange household items
to make a clearer path when walking between rooms.
There are many bathroom and home safety kits that can
also help with stability. Some safety items may even
be covered under some insurance plans. If throw rugs
tend to bunch up or slip when you walk, secure them
with double sided tape. Make sure handrails near steps
are secure. Consider purchasing a good pair of walking
shoes with proper treading. For those with balance
issues, a cane can help stabilize and prevent falls. There
are many different types of canes with varying grips and
tips to choose from, so ask your doctor for suggestions.
What to do if you fall:
Stay calm and remain still for a few moments to
stabilize yourself. If you think you can get up, safely roll
onto your side and get up slowly using your hands and
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