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Fall Prevention

More than 65 percent of people with Parkinson’s will fall within the first year of their diagnosis. Approximately 50 percent will fall more than once in a year.  This includes people with young-onset Parkinson’s and those with optimally medicated Parkinson’s.

Your risk of falling increases when you have any of the following:

  •     Vision problems
  •     Muscle weakness
  •     Depression
  •     Difficulty thinking
  •     Multiple medications
  •     Difficulty balancing
  •     Difficulty walking

All of the above are naturally a part of Parkinson’s.  A history of falling or even a fear of falling will also increase your risk.  Here are simple steps you can take to reduce your risk:

What’s up Doc?: Talk with your doctor about balance, other health issues, and dizzy spells.  Be sure to talk about your prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements.  Some of their side effects may increase your risk of falling.

Get Movin’:  Ask your doctor which sort of exercises you should be doing to keep yourself healthy, strong and fall-free.  They may recommend walking, tai chi or stretching.  If you are more comfortable exercising in a chair, they can suggest exercises appropriate for that as well.

It’s Time for a Makeover:  Look around your home to see what safety modifications you can make.  Many modifications are free and easy to make:

  •     Remove throw rugs
  •     Ensure proper lighting, especially for nighttime
  •     Clean up stacks of magazine, books or newspapers
  •     Tape electrical wires to walls
  •     Have frequently used items within reach, like the telephone or remote control
  •     Other modifications like installing handrails and grab bars can make your home safer

*Home modification organizations specialize in assessing homes for safety and making appropriate upgrades.  Some of these organizations charge a fee for their services and/or upgrade however there are some agencies that provide these services for free.  Call us for more details at 858-273-6763.