Preventing falls for seniors

caines | 1/25/2012, 9:30 a.m.

Use assistive devices

Canes and walkers can help you stay balanced and prevent harmful falls. A grabber can help you pick up lightweight items that are slightly out of reach so you do not have to bend over and potentially lose your balance.

Eat right

Adults of all ages should get adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D to keep their bones strong. For people over age 50, that means consuming 1,200 mg of calcium daily2b by eating calcium-rich foods such as dairy products, dark green, leafy vegetables, and nuts, as well as taking calcium supplements. Having a fear of falling should not rule your life. For more information about preventing falls, talk with your doctor or visit the National Institute on Aging Web site at www.nihseniorhealth.gov. Fall prevention is a lifestyle change to promote quality and healthy living, said Lawrence. The new Vestibular and Balance Rehabilitation Center at North Shore Medical Center offers evidence-based assessments and treatments to improve vestibular and balance disorders, in addition to identifying early risk for falls. Vestibular and balance disorders are serious medical conditions that can lead to falls resulting in injuries that can be fatal. The center aims to prevent falls and their associated injuries by treating dizziness and balance disorders, which can be caused by hearing and vision problems, ear infections, muscle weakness, and loss of sensation in the feet or joints. The Vestibular and Balance Rehabilitation Centers multidisciplinary healthcare team is trained specifically in balance disorders that often occur in patients that have or experience acoustic neuroma; migraine associated dizziness; stroke and other neurological disorders; multiple sclerosis; leg and ankle fractures; trauma; cranial radiation; vestibular neuritis; parkinsons disease; vertigo; alcoholic degeneration; syncope; and unsteady gait with a history of falls. For more information about the Vestibular and Balance Rehabilitation Center at North Shore Medical Center please call 305-835-6155.