As we age, many tissues including our brain become less efficient at maintaining seemingly simple processes like standing upright and walking. Our muscle strength and flexibility decline with age as does our vision and depth perception. All these factors integrate into the brain and this integration can be the source of unstable stance and gait.
Each year, 1 in every 3 adults over 65 years of age falls.” - CDC 2015
We understand that with an increased risk of fall comes a possible life-threatening head injury or fracture. Many of our older family members will lose their independence following a fall in the home. Although falls are common, they are not an inevitable part of aging.
The diagnostic tests at the Bagnell Brain Center can identify potential risk factors before a fall. The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta states, “Muscle weakness in the legs, Vestibular issues from the inner ear, slower reflexes, foot problems such as pain and sensory problems can all contribute to an increased risk of falling in older adults.”
What can you do to reduce your risk today?
Consider an Exam of Sensory Integration and Balance. Determining how your brain balances the input between the eyes and vestibular system is vital to reducing your risk.
Get some exercise. Muscle weakness and lack of coordinated activity will contribute to increased fall risk. Tai Chi has been shown to be effective in improving balance and brain coordination.
Get your vision checked regularly. Your vision can decline as you age and misjudged depth perception can be a significant risk factor for falls.
Mind your medication. Have your doctor review medication interactions regularly. Adding a new medication may change internal effects contributing to dizziness and balance issues.