Physical Therapy and You:
Our program focuses on improving patient wellness, and providing intervention for individuals dealing with balance or coordination issues that affect their daily activities and put them at risk for falls. We educate patients and provide individualize recommendations for home safety. Our goal is to enable all patients to maintain independent and healthy lifestyles.
Our comprehensive treatment program for balance and fall prevention includes a complete evaluation and balance assessment. We combine patient education and individually-designed exercises performed in a group setting to promote strength, coordination and flexibility in older adults.
Balance and Fall Prevention – What You Should Know:
- 1 in 3 people over age 65, and 1 in 2 people over age 80 fall at least once per year
- 50% of people who fall are likely to fall again
- 50% of people who fall will require help with everyday activities
- Falls are the leading cause of injury and death in older adults
- Women fall more often than men
- CDC research indicates that the U.S. death rate from falling has risen approximately 55% for the elderly since the 1990’s
- Many elderly people fear breaking a hip when they fall, but a government study indicates that a head injury can also have deadly consequences. In fact, brain injuries account for ½ of all deaths resulting from falls
Fall Prevention DOs:
- DO remove throw rugs, extension cords and clutter from your home
- DO tack down carpet/rug edges
- DO keep hallways clear from clutter
- DO store commonly used items on shelves between hip and eye level
- DO use a non-skid bathtub/shower mat
- DO maintain good lighting in your home
- DO install night lights – especially in the bathroom
- DO install handrails on the stairs, in the shower and beside the toilet
- DO keep a phone nearby at all times
- DO wear shoes with a non-skid sole
- DO let your doctor know if you have fallen or are afraid of falling
Fall Prevention DON’Ts:
- DON’T wax floors
- DON’T use a stepping stool
- DON’T wear loose, floppy slippers or a long robe
- DON’T sit on furniture that is low to the ground
- DON’T allow spills to remain on floors
- DON’T wear high heeled shoes, backless shoes, shoes with a slippery sole, shoes that are too tight or shoes that are too loose
Check Yourself: Are you at risk for falling?
- Have you fallen in the last 6 months?
- Do you have difficulty transitioning from sit to stand?
- Do you have difficulty walking on uneven surfaces?
- Do you have difficulty walking up or down steps?
- Do you use a walker or a cane; or do you hold onto objects when you walk?
- Do you ever feel unsteady, weak or dizzy?
- Do you get up regularly at night to use the bathroom?
- Do you have a chronic health condition?
- Do you take multiple medications?
- Are you afraid that you are going to fall?
If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, you should discuss your potential fall risk with you doctor. Physical Therapy may help to address these issues and improve your safety and quality of life.