Falls can compound the effects of a stroke, and specific characteristics of stroke survivors make this population more susceptible to falls. Therefore, implementing fall prevention strategies in your environment is essential to your long-term health and well-being.
Higher Fall Risks For Stroke SurvivorsAs many as 75 percent of stroke survivors will suffer a fall during their first year of stroke recovery. Several factors specific to stroke survivors influence this risk, including:
- Balance and coordination issues
- Mobility impairments and gait changes
- Medication side effects of dizziness or drowsiness
- Cognitive changes
Falls: The ConsequencesFalls are a major underlying reason for serious short-term and long-term disability, especially in older adults. The following negative outcomes may be associated with a fall in stroke survivors:
- Possible fractures (especially in stroke survivors who also have osteoporosis)
- Potential of suffering additional brain trauma
- Subsequent hospitalization and rehab
- Increased medical costs
Your Plan For Preventing FallsWith some thought and attention, you can make your environment safer and eliminate tripping hazards. Incorporate the following steps into your fall prevention plan:
- Secure or remove throw rugs that could present tripping hazards
- Keep walkways free of clutter
- Practice exercises to improve your posture
- Use adaptive mobility equipment as needed.
- Monitor for depression symptoms and seek treatment as needed.
- Get your vitamin D levels checked, because some research suggests that low vitamin D levels are associated with a higher fall risk