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I didn’t fall, I just slipped out of my chair… 

My feet stopped moving and the top part kept going…

I tried to turn around but my feet got tripped up…

Statements like these are very common when I talk to my patients with Parkinson’s disease about falls.  As an occupational therapist, I know that falls are a serious problem. They often result in changes of lifestyle. Individuals are often less confident leaving the house or they significantly reduce activity due to fear of falling.  Often falls are a contributing factor to a person needing to move from their home and of course falls can lead to injuries.  The causes of falls often fall into two different categories; intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic falls are caused by something going on inside the person.  How is your eyesight? Is it time for a checkup? Are you taking medication that may cause dizziness? Are your falls due to muscle weakness or pain? An appointment to a doctor or therapist can often address these problems.

Extrinsic factors include your environment. Are there throw rugs that will cause you to trip? What about obstacles in the walkway? Is the lighting sufficient for you to get to the bathroom during the night? Do stairways have handrails? Often there are quick fixes to these problems.

Of course, it is best to prevent falls before they happen. However, if a fall occurs it is important to think about the causes to prevent it from happening again.

Kris Greve, OTR at Rehab Arisces, earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin Madison. She is certified in LSVT BIG, a treatment designed specifically for patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Kris treats patients in assisted livings and in the comfort of their own home and enjoys watching them get better.

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