In Canada, the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations is falls, “and between 20% and 30% of seniors fall each year,” according to the Government of Canada.
Falling can be scary. “And falls can cost us — not only in terms of treatment, but in terms of independence and even our lives,” stated Falling: Are You At Risk?
Are you at risk of falling? Read on to find out.
How High is Your Risk of Falling?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, “If you are over the age of 65, having four or more of these risk factors will increase your risk of falling by 80 percent”:
- Previous falls (this is the strongest risk factor)
- Chronic disease
- Acute illness
- Daily taking more than four medications
Do at least four of these risk factors apply to you? If so, understand that many falls can be prevented by physiotherapy.
“Older adults are encouraged to seek the advice of a physical therapist to reduce their risk of falls through balance and strength training, and other programs designed to keep seniors active and safe.” — The American Physical Therapy Association
Reduce Falls with Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy is an exercise-based, drug free treatment that is highly effective at preventing falls. “Physiotherapists can play a crucial role in the prevention of falls in older people,” stated Science Direct. Physiotherapists help individuals prevent falls through:
— Improving walking agility and balance — One way physiotherapists increase patients’ balance and walking agility is through facilitating coordination activities, strength training, and balance exercises. Sometimes, patients’ drugs are causing dizziness that increase their risk of falling. A physiotherapist can provide education about this.
— Education — Many people fall in their home. This can happen as a result of slippery rugs, ill-placed extension cords, poor lighting, or a lack of handrails. A physiotherapist can help patients assess how safe their home is and decide practical and cost-effective to fall-proof it.
— Bone strengthening — Bone strengthening is crucial for preventing falls and broken bones. When bones are weak, they break more easily. To combat this, physiotherapists work with patients to prevent the loss of bone mass via exercise.
“Exercise is really important for reducing the risk of falls. Lack of exercise leads to poor muscle tone, decreased strength and loss of bone mass – all of these factors can contribute to falls and the severity of injury after a fall,” according to How Physios Can Help Falls Prevention.
Different patients need different things from a falls prevention program. A physiotherapist can assess an individual’s risk factors for falls and his or her health, then create a program that meets the patient’s needs perfectly.
A Physiotherapist Can Help Keep You On Your Feet
Interested in learning more about falls prevention, increasing your strength and balance, and lowering your risk of falling? If so, a physiotherapist can help you.