Dizziness, problems with balance, gait, a previous fall or a near fall can contribute to having a fear of falling. Once fear sets in it can cause you to limit your activities which can lead to a gradual loss of physical abilities. This in turn can increase the risk of falling.
Rather than giving in to a fear of falling, you can redirect those thoughts to help you find ways to continue to be active and safe. For example, if you are unsteady when you walk, rather than not walking consider using a cane. If your balance is poor, make an appointment with a physical therapist to help improve your gate.
Consider the following steps to help prevent falls from happening:
- Check your home for hazards like throw rugs, extension cords or poor lighting. Have grab bars installed by the tub and toilet.
- Discuss your medications with your doctor. Some can cause dizziness or drowsiness which can cause falls.
- Have your eyes checked.
- Build strength, especially in your legs.
- Practice balance exercises
- Boost bone strength with weight bearing exercises and check with your doctor to be sure you are getting enough vitamin D and calcium.
Proactively eliminating fall hazards and taking charge of your physical condition can help build confidence and eliminate the fear of falling.