About one third of people over the age of 65 and almost half of people over the age of 80 will fall at least once this year. Falls can diminish your ability to lead an active and independent life. It’s such a topic of concern that the National Council on Aging has even dedicated a day in September to fall prevention awareness.
Are you at risk?
The factors associated with the greatest fall risk are a history of previous falls, balance problems, leg muscle weakness, vision problems, taking more than four medications or psychoactive medications, and difficulty with walking.
Physical therapists can help in this area in many ways, including reducing your risk of falling by:
- Assessing your risk of falling
- Helping you make your home as safe as possible
- Educating you about the medical risk factors linked to falls
- Designing individualized exercises and balance training
- Working with other health care professionals and community services to create programs for people who want to reduce their risk of falling
Based on the evaluation results, your physical therapist will design an exercise and training program to improve your balance and strength. A recent systematic review of many published studies found that exercise-based programs in the home or in group settings are effective in preventing falls.
If you are at risk or have a fear of falling, it’s important to get an assessment. Please contact any of our locations for more information, or attend our educational event focusing on balance and falls on Monday, November 18 from 6-7pm. Our guest speaker will be Dr. DeWitt.