I’ve just finished reading a Washington Post article, Strategies for Preventing Falls, Which Are Especially Risky for Older People, appearing in the online edition on March 16, 2015, It reviews the risks, examines the facts about falling, describes how to check an individual’s steadiness, and makes suggestions about the various ways a person can improve balance.
The article describes a number of tests that can evaluate whether a person is prone to falling. An aging parent should perform them with a physician or physical therapist, who can go through the series of steps and safely evaluate whether or not a person is likely to fall. Physically fit adult children can probably experiment — carefully — at home with some of these tests. The Washington Post article explains them in detail, so I’ve just listed the tests below, and I’ve also linked several of the tests to videos.
- How far can a person reach, standing up and reaching forward (without teetering or becoming wobbly). this is called the Functional Reach Test.
- Can a person stand and balance on one leg for 30 seconds? Try it on both legs.
- Can a person perform the Get Up and Go Test.
To learn even more about older adult falls you can download a pamphlet, What Can You Do to Prevent Falls from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It’s available in English, Spanish, and Chinese and at different printing resolutions. You can also check out a page at the CDC website, Fact Sheet on Falls.
Other Posts on AsOurParentsAge that Address Falling
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