Fall Prevention Program

Falling is a common and serious problem for the elderly. 1 in 3 adults over the age of 65 falls each year.1,2 Among those 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of injury death.3 The death rates from falls among older men and women have risen sharply over the past decade.4Falls are associated with injury, decreased independent function, premature admission to nursing homes, and even early death.

Common factors leading to falls include:

  • Decreased balance and strength of the legs;
  • Uneven ground or poor lighting;
  • Diseases: Parkinson's, seizures, diabetes, arthritis, orthostatic hypotension, dizziness, neuropathy;
  • Taking more than four medications; especially sedatives, antidepressants, and anti-hypertension drugs;
  • Any conditions that impairs safe judgment; fear, anxiety, depression, delirium, and dementia.

    Once you have identified the risk factors for falling, it's important to make strides to prevent falls. There are basic strategies and techniques that can be implemented to reduce your chance of falls.

At ProActive Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy our physical therapists try to prevent injuries by identifying individuals who are at risk for falls. A comprehensive physical therapy fall evaluation is performed that includes: a thorough history, muscle strength evaluation, balance assessment, and functional mobility assessment. Once the impairments are identified our physical therapy team works with the patient to develop a treatment plan that will help to minimize or prevent future falls. The treatments consist of balance training, endurance/strength training, and education on how falls can be prevented. Ultimately, we transition their program into the home environment for long-term benefits.

Most falls in the elderly are predictable, preventable and not solely due to the aging process. At ProActive we encourage you to be proactive with your health. We can help you prevent the debilitating effects of falls or treat the injuries associated with them. Call one of our clinics today for a free consultation visit, e-mail your questions (info@proactivesportspt.com), or visit us online at www.proactivesportspt.com for more information.

References

  • Hausdorff JM, Rios DA, Edelber HK. Gait variability and fall risk in community-living older adults: a 1-year prospective study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2001;82(8):1050-6.
  • Hornbrook MC, Stevens VJ, Wingfield DJ, Hollis JF, Greenlick MR, Ory MG. Preventing falls among community-dwelling older persons: results from a randomized trial. The Gerontologist 1994:34(1):16-23.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. Accessed November 30, 2010