More than 68 percent of people with Parkinson’s will fall within the first year of their diagnosis. Approximately 50 percent will fall more than once in a year. This includes people with young-onset Parkinson’s and those with optimally medicated Parkinson’s.
Your risk of falling increases when you have any of the following:
- Vision problems
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty thinking
- Multiple medications
- Difficulty balancing
- Difficulty walking
All of the above are naturally a part of Parkinson’s. A history of falling or even a fear of falling will also increase your risk. Here are simple steps you can take to reduce your risk:
What’s up Doc?: Talk with your doctor about balance, other health issues, and dizzy spells. Be sure to talk about your prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements. Some of their side effects may increase your risk of falling.
Get Movin’: Ask your doctor which sort of exercises you should be doing to keep yourself healthy, strong and fall-free. They may recommend walking, tai chi or stretching. If you are more comfortable exercising in a chair, they can suggest exercises appropriate for your chair.
It’s Time for a Makeover: Look around your home to see what safety modifications you can make. Many modifications are free and easy to make:
- Remove throw rugs
- Ensure proper lighting, especially for nighttime
- Clean up stacks of magazine, books or newspapers
- Tape electrical wires to walls
- Have frequently used items within reach, like the telephone or remote control
- Other modifications like installing handrails and grab bars can make your home safer
*Home modification organizations specialize in assessing homes for safety and making appropriate upgrades. Some of these organizations charge a fee for their services and/or upgrade however there are some agencies that provide these services for free. Call us for more details at 858-273-6763.