Improve Your Balance and Prevent Falling Tips

At any age, poor balance can cause disabling falls. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You can take steps toward eliminating the risks of falling. Maintaining your physical practice will keep you strong and grounded. Madeline offers a simple movement sequence for improving your balance.

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Personal Safety Checklist

  1. Good posture centers your body for better balance, be aware of how you stand, sit and lie down
  2. Muscle strength and function particularly in the lower body, increase reflexes and flexibility
  3. Healthy feet allow you feel the surface you are walking on and is your base of support
  4. Eyesight less than 20/60, cataracts, decrease in depth perception and eye disorders, have annual eye exams
  5. Wear sturdy shoes, high heels, slip-on shoes, loose slippers, smooth and slippery soles may promote falls
  6. Health problems such as blood pressure fluctuations, heart problems, inner ear disorders and nerve damage contribute to falls, see your doctor and be aware
  7. Medications cause dizziness or drowsiness
  8. Alcohol use impairs judgment and slows reaction time

Home Hazards Checklist

  1. Bedroom: keep a phone and lamp close to your bed; a firm mattress and a low bed height so that you can place your feet flat on the floor when you’re sitting in the edge helps balance as you rise from the bed
  2. Bathrooms: Install night lights; grab bars, nonslip mats, textured tiles so it is not slipper when wet; a low threshold shower
  3. Kitchen: store often-used items where you can easily reach them; a sturdy step stool to reach items in high cabinets
  4. Entrances and Hallways: light all outside doors; walkways free of cracks, holes and clutter; repair any rotted or crumbling steps; non-skid backing on mats inside the door; Hallways well lit
  5. Stairways: Place a light switch at the top and bottom of the stairway; install a handrail that runs the full length of the stairs; keep stairs in good repair and clear of clutter; tack carpeting on the stairs tightly
  6. Keep floors clutter free, wires tucked away, turn on lights when walking into rooms; lighting needs to be even with no shadows or glares; all carpeting needs to lie flat and have non skid backing;
  7. Door thresholds create tripping hazards, replace them with lower thresholds
  8. Program emergency numbers into phones