Fear of Falling - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/19/04

Fear of Falling

One in three Americans over age 65 will suffer a fall this year. If they break a bone, that can be fixed but for some, the fear of falling is more difficult to get over. This fear can pose a danger in itself.

"People who are curtailing their activities because of fear of falling, they're experiencing physical consequences like weakness and as a result, their actual risk of falling will increase," says Elizabeth Peterson, a therapist.

Peterson says seniors need to learn how to think positively about being active while not fearing another fall.

Positive steps to reduce the risk of a fall.

  • You should begin a regular exercise program because that will improve balance and coordination.
  • Make your home safer by removing clutter so you won't trip.
  • Also use double sided tape to keep rugs in place.
  • Keep items you use often within reach so you don't have to use a step stool.
  • Put grab bars next to your toilet and tub.
  • Get non-slip mats for the bath and shower.
  • Install hand rails and lights beside all steps, and buy stronger bulbs to improve the lighting.
  • Wear shoes with non-slip soles.
  • Be sure to have your eyes checked every year because the wrong glasses can increase your chance of falling.

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