The Remington Family, Community and Education (FCE) Homemakers Club received firsthand education and tips on how to prevent falls and combat the fear of falling at seminar presented by Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center (BROSC) on June 20.
“The Awareness About the Severity of Falls,” hosted BROSC Physical Therapist Andy Dart focused on spotlighting the risks that falling can bring, especially to older women. Falls are the sixth leading cause of death in women over the age of 65, and women in this age bracket are more likely to experience the dangers associated with falling, Dart said. Fortunately, he noted, there are plenty of safety methods both men and women can learn that will help lower the risk and strengthen their bodies overall.
Strengthen and condition muscles
Among Dart’s recommendations: strengthening and conditioning of the muscles around the hip, which will improve balance (see images below). He also recommended maintaining a high awareness of your surroundings at all times. For instance, if there is an object that is out of place or puts the individual at risk of falling, take the necessary precautions to remove and rearrange. Most importantly, Dart urged people to stay active and not let the mental trauma of a previous fall hamper activities due to a fear of falling again.
“Many people who fall–even if they are not injured–develop a fear of falling,” Dart explained. “This may cause them to limit their activities leading to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, which results their actual risk of falling.”
The attendees took Dart’s advice to heart.
“It was important to have Andy come and speak with us about the dangers of falling,” said Remington FCE Homemakers member Helen Jones. “He provided helpful information and useful precautions. Seminars like this are immediately applicable to real world situations.”
Said Dart: “At BROSC we feel preventative care, education and outreach is part of our mission.”
For more information on upcoming seminars and falling prevention, please contact Andy Dart at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center at (540) 347-2918.
Below: Andy Dart demonstrates an exercise to improve hip conditioning and overall balance.