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Fall Prevention


Exercises for core strength. Sit backs. One-leg sit. Bridge one leg lift. Nordic or Pole Walking ... in rhythm to legs (right arm, left leg) start to push ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Fall Prevention

Fall Prevention
  • Nancy E. Mayo
  • School of Physical and Occupational Therapy
  • McGill University

  • Some numbers about falls and accidents
  • Risk Factors
  • It can happen to me
  • I can prevent a fall

Lots of people gt 65 fall
Fear of Falling
  • Older persons often develop strong fear of
    falling whether or not they have fallen
  • After a fall, fear of falling is very high
  • Restricts going out in the community
  • To reduce fear, walk slower, small steps, and
  • Mobility is reduced, fitness reduced, leads to
    poor quality of life
  • Women fear falling more than men
  • Interventions to prevent falls are effective to
    reduce fear of falling

Risk Factors / Intrinsic
  • Normal aging
  • Muscle weakness
  • Balance problems
  • Mobility problems
  • Many medications (sleeping pills, stress/anxiety
    pills, heart medications)
  • Stiff, sore, or diabetic feet
  • Vision problems (difficulty seeing in dark)
  • Fear of falling
  • Bad shoes
  • Women

Why do Women Fall More than Men?
  • Concept of Reserve
  • Women have smaller gas tanks than men
  • Normal aging and health conditions use up a
    greater proportion of whats in the tank
  • Balance and strength problems have greater impact
    on women than men
  • Make the difference between tripping and
    recovering and tripping and falling

Risk Factors / Extrinsic
  • Bad lighting,
  • Slippery floor surfaces,
  • No handrails or grab bars particularly in
  • Poor design or repair of stairs.
  • Pets
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Crowded walkways,
  • Loose carpeting or throw rugs
  • Clutter, too much furniture
  • Walkers

Impact of Risk Factors
  • 1 risk factor ie. Just being over 65 years
  • 25 risk of falling
  • 4 risk factors
  • 75 risk of falling
  • As many of these risk factors are common it is
    likely that many of you sitting here to day will
    fall in the next 12 months.

Falls occur at home!
  • More time spent indoors than outdoors
  • More falls occur inside than out
  • But 1/3 of falls occur outside

Where do falls occur?
Clutter, getting up suddenly, dark, rushing to
Uneven ground, obstacles
Accidents happen outside and in the kitchen
Beware the open dishwasher door! and knives
pointing upward!
Falls on the stairs!
Handrails, lighting, surface, correct height (8)
Very few falls have a warning sign Top 10 Reasons
for Falling
  • Inattentiveness
  • Loss of balance
  • Rushing or hurrying
  • Walking
  • Carrying an object
  • Changing position
  • Going up and down stairs
  • Reaching or leaning
  • Uneven surface
  • Object in path (pets)

Preventing Falls
  • Number 1
  • Recognize that you can fall at any time
  • Be aware of surroundings
  • Be aware about how you are feeling
  • Remove environmental hazards
  • Declutter, get rid of small rugs, handrails,
    bathrails, non-slip bathmats, loose stair carpets
    or treds etc.

Drugs and falls
  • Many drugs are associated with an increased risk
    of falls
  • Sleeping pills
  • Anti-depressants
  • Drugs for epilepsy
  • Cardiac drugs
  • Ask your doctor about these drugs and how to
    reduce your risk of falling

Donts and Dos of Shoes
Get Fit
  • Exercise has been shown to be one of the most
    effective ways of preventing falls
  • Better joint mobility
  • Better balance
  • Better muscle strength
  • Quicker reaction time
  • Less fatigue

Many community-based exercise programs for seniors
  • Joint mobility joint stiffness can cause a fall
    when changing position
  • Balance train recovery processes and reaction
  • Strength peripheral and core strength
  • Prevents foot drag
  • Knees buckling
  • Pelvis dropping when moving
  • Fitness reduces fatigue and improves all of the
    processes above and is good for the heart

  • Improves
  • Balance
  • Focus
  • Muscle strength
  • Mobility
  • Reduces
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • among other benefits

Core strength
  • Improves the muscles of the core
  • Abdominals, pelvis, back, hips
  • Exercises for core strength
  • Sit backs
  • One-leg sit
  • Bridge one leg lift

Nordic or Pole Walking
  • Poles must be of the height that your elbow is at
    90 degrees
  • Start by walking and dragging the poles to get a
    natural rhythm
  • When you see your arms moving in rhythm to legs
    (right arm, left leg) start to push with tip of
  • Makes you walk tall, take big steps, heel down
    (toe up so prevents tripping), additional
    security for balance, walk fast

Many resources in the community and on the web
  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Health Canada
  • Safety starts at home
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