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A Comprehensive Guide to Fall Prevention for Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive neurological disorder that affects the movement of the body. One of the common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is a gait disturbance, which can lead to a higher risk of falls. 

According to the National Institute of Health, up to 60% of people with Parkinson’s disease will fall each year. However, there are steps that people with Parkinson’s disease can take to reduce their risk of falls.

Keep reading to learn about methods to prevent falling for people with Parkinson’s disease!

1. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help people with Parkinson’s disease to improve their balance, strength, and flexibility. A physical therapist can also teach people with Parkinson’s disease how to walk more safely and efficiently. Our Physical Therapists have 1-on-1 sessions that are completely tailored to the individual’s specific needs and abilities.


2. Medication Management

Medication management is crucial for people with Parkinson’s disease. Some medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion, which can increase the risk of falls. It is important to work closely with a healthcare provider to adjust medication dosages or change medications if necessary.


3. Home Modifications

Home modifications can help people with Parkinson’s disease to prevent falls. Occupational therapists (OTs) are trained to help individuals perform activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) in their home environment. One way OTs can assist with this is through home modifications. Home modifications involve making changes to a person’s home environment to make it safer and more accessible!

Some modifications that can be made include:

  • Removing clutter and tripping hazards from floors
  • Installing grab bars in bathrooms and other areas of the home where support is needed
  • Adding non-slip mats to the shower and bathtub
  • Installing handrails on staircases

 

4. Footwear

Wearing appropriate footwear is important for fall prevention in people with Parkinson’s disease. Shoes should fit well and have good support and traction. Orthotics may be what you need! Orthotics are medical devices that a podiatrist or specialist prescribes to their patient. You place them in your shoes to adjust how your feet move and how you distribute your weight and help alleviate any unnecessary pressure and adjust awkward muscle usage. Be sure to consult a doctor to see if Orthotics are a right fit for you!


5. Assistive Devices

Assistive devices can be helpful for people with Parkinson’s disease to prevent falls. Devices such as canes, walkers, and wheelchairs can provide support and stability when walking. These devices should be prescribed and fitted by a healthcare professional.


6. Exercise

Regular exercise can help people with Parkinson’s disease to improve their balance, strength, and flexibility. Our Rocksteady Boxing trainers tailor each exercise to the individual’s abilities and goals. Rock Steady Boxing is a non-profit organization that provides fitness programs and instruction. The goal of the organization is to help people with Parkinson’s disease improve their quality of life. At Living Well Balanced, we offer the Rock Steady Boxing program as one of our treatments for Parkinson’s disease. The program uses non-contact boxing to build fitness and fight back against the deterioration of motor skills, balance, and sensory function.

In conclusion, falls can be a significant concern for people with Parkinson’s disease. However, by taking steps such as physical therapy, medication management, home modifications, appropriate footwear, assistive devices, and exercise, people with Parkinson’s disease can reduce their risk of falls and maintain their independence. It is important to work closely with a healthcare provider to develop a personalized fall prevention plan!

 At Living Well Balanced, we offer a wide range of fitness and physical health services from caring and experienced professionals. We provide personal training and Chiropractic care to assist our clients in their health and wellness management. You can make an appointment with one of our Occupational Therapists to learn how they can benefit you and or plan for injury recovery or prevention and chronic pain. If you have any questions, you can always give us a call at 212-579-2858 or send an email to info@livingwb.com. Check out our blog for more information about alternative therapies and our wellness products for practicing self-care at home!