Balance Disorders Education and Support

Growing older doesn’t have to mean falling

Almost 20 percent of seniors will fall next year, and many of those will go on to suffer serious complications. We know you worry about potentially fatal falls as you grow older, which makes balance problems all the more troubling. With the right resources, however, you can prevent falls as you age and even improve your balance.

What causes falling?

Many people find that their balance starts to falter as they grow older. Falls can be caused by:

  • Bed rest or inactivity
  • Dizziness or unsteadiness
  • Loss of confidence in your mobility
  • Loss of strength in your legs and feet
  • Medication side effects
  • Other medical conditions

How do I know if I have a balance problem?

At Henry Ford, we have advanced screening technology and dedicated experts who can help you determine if you have a balance problem. Our state-of-the-art technology includes:

  • Computerized equilibrium tests that evaluate the sensory and motor parts of your balance system
  • Sensory tests that focus on your inner ear (vestibular), eyes and sense of touch in your feet and joints
  • Motor tests to assess your ability to coordinate muscle and joint movements needed to maintain balance
  • NeuroCom Balance Master® Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP), which uses sensors and a moving platform and walls to test vision, inner ears, muscles and joints, as well as body awareness and center of gravity perception

Learn more about our balance disorder services, including treatment options.

How do I prevent falling?

Even simple factors like cluttered spaces or poor lighting can increase the risk of falling, but you can reduce your risk with these steps:

  • Be aware of your surroundings: Keep floors free from clutter and rugs, which can cause tripping. When possible, use railings or bars to support yourself on stairs and in the bathroom. Make sure your hallways are well lit so you can see what’s around you.
  • Use helpful equipment: Properly-fitting shoes with grip soles can make it easier to walk. If you use a walker or a cane, make sure it’s at the correct height for you. Take care of all your senses by keeping glasses and hearing aids clean and using them often.
  • Maintain your general health: Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. When you’re lying down, try to get up slowly so your body can adjust.

The balance team at Henry Ford can help you address your unique balance needs. The Falls Prevention Clinic offers resources, training, and treatment to lower your risk of falls.

Take the Next Step

Contact us to schedule an appointment, call (800) 436-7936.

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Please call 911 if you have an emergency or urgent medical question.

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Henry Ford Health is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email [email protected].

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