By Jeff Sheppard 16 Feb 2023 no comment 282 Views

There are several different causes of household falls.  In the past, we’ve talked about tripping on objects, slipping on slippery surfaces, and falling while climbing.  Now it’s time to talk about a lesser-known cause of falls:  disorientation.

Why does disorientation cause falls?

It’s easier to fall when it’s dark, when you’re rushing, or when you’re carrying something bulky.  Why is that?  These are times when it’s harder for your brain to figure out how your body “fits into” the world around it. Maybe you can’t see the stairs under that big box you’re carrying. Perhaps the light in your hallway burned out a while ago. Maybe you are racing to answer a knock at the door. If your brain has to “guess” where the step is, and it “guesses wrong,” you might fall.

Here’s how to minimize falls from disorientation.

The easiest way to minimize these falls is to take your time.  Many people fall while trying to get to the phone, the door, or the car as quickly as possible. When you go slowly, it is easier to be aware of your body and its surroundings.  It is not rude to take the time you need to move safely.

Don’t try to carry too many packages or bags at once.  Heavy bags make it easier to lose your balance and fall.  Large loads—for example, multiple shopping bags, or big boxes—make it difficult for you to see what you are stepping on.  Have you missed a stair, or are you about to trip on a toy?  It’s better to make more trips with loads you can carry comfortably.

Orient yourself before moving up and down.  Whether you want to stand up after a period of sitting, go down stairs, or climb a ladder, take a moment to ground and center yourself.  Think about what you’d like to do.  This moment of orientation means your body knows exactly what to “do next.”

Replace burned out light bulbs promptly.  Use a ladder or stepstool, or ask for assistance.

If you wear glasses to read, don’t walk around the house with them on your face.

Review your medications with your family doctor.  Some medications, or interactions between medications, can contribute to lightheadness.

Your inner ear contributes to your sense of balance.  Caring for your hearing and your ear health can also minimize your risk of a fall.

Whether you’ve had a fall recently or a long time ago, your chiropractor can help your body to heal.  Give Sheppard Chiropractic Centre a call at (506) 635-8182 or (506) 847-7172 to book your appointment.

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