Are You or Someone You Care About at Increased Risk for Injurious or Fatal Falls?

Do you know someone who has dizziness, has vertigo, or who is out of balance?

Older people are at more risk for injurious or fatal falls. One in four people over 65 years of age fall. Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths. (NCOA 2019)

The cost of a fall can be devastating, not only hospital costs (over $70B by 2020), but also loss of mobility and independence. Falls can also lead to a downward spiral of further decline in ability to function in the home and community, mood changes, social isolation and lack of interactions with family and friends. A fall may leave your loved one fearful of falling and unable to perform the activities they enjoy most e.g. walking, hiking, dancing, shopping, or golfing, to name a few.

Falling is not an inevitable result of aging and can be prevented through evidence-based fall prevention programs, such as Otago, that is delivered by a trained expert.

Do you want to improve the quality of life of someone you care about? Join us at our next Otago Workshop:

Otago Exercise Program Workshop – FREE EVENT!
Saturday, August 10th, 2019
10:00 am – 11:00 am
Please RSVP by calling (210) 833-8336

What else can you do to improve your loved one’s balance and reduce falls?

  • Perform a safety check of the home environment by clearing out clutter, removing throw rugs and other trip hazards, and wearing proper fitting shoes
  • Review all medications for side effects
  • Encourage use of an appropriate assistive device such as a cane, a walking pole, or a walker
  • Support by attending group or individual exercise activity programs to build muscles (force, endurance and power), aerobics, flexibility, and balance training

For more information about a Discovery Consultation Visit, please call (210) 833-8336, or send us an email at: ahnewpt@gmail.com.

Dr. Ann H. Newstead, PT, DPT, PhD
Certified Exercise Expert in Aging Adults (CEEAA)
Specialization in Geriatrics, Neurologic and Vestibular Rehabilitation

AHNew Physical Therapy
14418 Old Bandera Rd.
Old Town Helotes, TX 78023
(210) 833-8336

Vertigo Is Not Normal

Vertigo is not a normal part of life…Start your day AHNew.

Are you dizzy? Have vertigo? Imbalance or disequilibrium or unsteadiness? 

“As many as 35% of adults aged 40 years or older in the United States—approximately 69 million Americans—have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction.”

What is Dizziness? Vertigo? Dizziness is defined as you feeling as if you are spinning; whereas vertigo is your world spinning around you.

Both dizziness and vertigo can result in imbalance or disequilibrium and result in stopping activities that you enjoy most.

You have both a peripheral and central vestibular system that help control eye movements and balance. 

Cardiac and/or neurological events can also mimic dizziness and vertigo. Many people are seen in Emergency Departments for such conditions. 

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a small percentage of vertigo, followed by vestibular neuritis, endolymphatic hydrops or Meniere’s disease, Vestibular Migraine, Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD), or psychogenic disorders.

Finding a diagnosis of why you have dizziness or vertigo can be complex. It’s important to learn and discover more about the potential causes and solutions to improving your.

If you would like to learn more about how to lessen the effects of dizziness or vertigo, join us for an informational workshop. 

Contact Dr. Ann H. Newstead, PT, DPT, PhD at 210-833-8336.

Dr. Newstead is Certified in Vestibular Rehabilitation, Neurological and Geriatric Physical Therapy. She is a Certified Exercise Expert in Aging Adults.

7 things that may contribute your Dizziness and Disequilibrium

September is Fall Prevention Month!

7 things that may contribute your Dizziness and Balance

Are you living with dizziness or disequilibrium?  Do you have difficulty changing positions? Have you had a previous fall? What contributes to your vertigo?

  1. Changes in aging systems. Your visual, sensory and vestibular systems in combination with your muscles are important for staying upright in your world. All of these systems work together to minimize your dizziness or imbalance (e.g. disequilibrium). Working on your neck motion and eye coordination and scanning can improve your vision especially for driving! Standing with eyes open feet together holding a countertop can challenge your balance! Changing positions may create dizziness or light headedness or vertigo. Or when you move from sitting to standing you may feel light headed, you may have a drop in Blood Pressure. Or vertigo when your world moves around you and you feel off balance.
  2. Changes in strength that effect your balance and walking. Have you been told that you cannot improve your balance or decrease your dizziness?  Have you had difficulty with dizziness or balance for a few weeks, months, years?  Has your walking speed decreased? You do not need to live with reduced physical functioning. You can improve your strength, flexibility, endurance, and ultimately your eye-head coordination, dizziness and balance. Research strongly suggests that people in their 40’s begin to lose strength; even people in their 90’s can improve strength. Begin an strengthening and flexibility program gradually increasing under the supervision of your physical therapist.

  3. Too many Medications or Polypharmacy. Do you take more than ten (10) medications? Many medications interact and the effects are cumulative that can lead to dizziness, vertigo, imbalance or disequilibrium. Medications can also contribute to fatigue or weakness. If any of these are true, you need your medications reevaluated by your PT.

  4. Mood changes. Has your quality of life decreased because of your dizziness? Are you basically satisfied with your life? Is your mood out of sorts because you feel you cannot go out and be with friends or family? Call a friend or family member to say hello or volunteer to help someone or a cause.

  5. Fear of falling. Are you fearful of falling? Fear of falling may be a common frustration. Fear of falling is most common after one or more falls. Use of a device such as a cane or walker may provide you with some more confidence. If you don’t like the idea of a cane, dress it up! Show your personality!

  6. Home hazards. Is your home a fall hazard? Do you have lights in each room? Do you have handrails to hold in the bath? Keeping your home safe and free from hazards is important to avoid falls. If you have dizziness and difficulty scanning your environment, you have need to declutter. If you have disequilibrium, keeping areas in hallways and in your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living areas free of throw rugs to avoid trips and slips, may help you to avoid injury.

  7. Chronic falls – Two or more falls in the last year. Do you have medical problems that contribute to your dizziness or falls? (Cancer, diabetes, stroke, Parkinson’s?) If you have had two or more fall over the past year, you have a chronic fall problem. A fall is defined as “any change in body position resulting in contact with the ground or with another lower level” (REF) If you have low blood pressure, you may suddenly feel light-headed. Lightheadedness differs from dizziness in that you may ability to turn your head without vertigo.

Would you like to learn more about physical activity and exercises to improve your strength, balance and walking? There are exercises and physical activities that can improve your ability to decrease dizziness and disequilibrium.

Ask your physical therapist for a one-on-one evaluation, education and an individualized program just for YOU! Improve your quality of life!

BONUS

5 Top Activities and Exercises to improve your balance and walking and dizziness:

1. Eye-head coordination: turning your head side to side, in sitting focus on a target. Can be done in standing holding a firm surface.

2. Flexibility: daily ankle circles and ankle pumps, hamstring stretches

3. Strength training: 2 to 3 days per week standing toe and heel raises, lifting weights with good form for both arms and legs

4. Balance retraining: standing near a countertop holding with both hands, maintain upright posture feet together for 30 seconds

5. Walking: 30 minutes daily – use a heel toe smooth pattern and take longer steps. Use walking poles for improved confidence.

Every exercise bout, physical activity and walk counts – park a little further away from your destination! All activities are cumulative throughout your day.

If you would like to learn more, contact us for a Free Report and/or a Free One-On-One Discovery Consultation Visit to learn more, contact us today. 

ahnewPT@gmail.com or 1-210-833-8336

Reference: PREVENTING FALLS: A Guide to Implementing Effective Community-Based Fall Prevention Programs. CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. 2nd Edition. 2015.