Balance & Falls Prevention Program
Did you know the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injury among seniors is falling? It may not sound like a treatable condition but the truth is that as we get older, the risk of injury from a fall increases. Approximately one in three seniors fall at least once a year. You can reduce the chance of sustaining an injury from a fall with our balance and falls prevention program.
How does the fall prevention program work?
A balance and falls prevention program is focused on improving balance, strength and conditioning through a series of custom-tailored exercise programs. One of our experienced physiotherapists will conduct an interview and physical assessment to get to the source of the problem.
We test your muscles’ strength and basic motor functions such as your ability to sit down, stand up and walk. Your vestibular system (inner ear) is also examined to test whether your balance is being thrown off by an underlying condition.
Once the problem is identified, a custom-tailored program is developed to improve your gait, balance, strength and conditioning. Your program will target the underlying issue that is causing dizziness, loss of balance and reduce the risk of falling.
Your program covers every aspect of improving your balance and reducing the risk of falling. You can expect the following:
A custom exercise program that targets a specific goal
Balance training to reduce the risk of falling
Education on all aspects of your condition and progress
Prescription for an assistive mobility device
Home safety tips
What are the benefits of this program?
When a senior has fallen once from a loss of balance, the chances of falling increase. This can have a mental impact on the person and instil the fear of falling again. The fear of falling causes many people to withdraw from certain activities. Our balance and falls prevention program empowers our patients with the confidence to engage in activities without the fear of falling.
Our training is targeted to improve balance, strength and conditioning which is the cornerstone for warding off many chronic diseases. As your physical health improves your risk of developing heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and arthritis diminish. Our patients have reported a higher quality of sleeping habits and more engagement in social activities.
What are the most common causes of falls among older adults?
When it comes to balance, the elderly are not the only ones at risk. Many people also experience an increased risk of falling from the following conditions.
Loss of vision
There’s no avoiding a fall if you can’t see obstacles or dangerous conditions that could lead you to lose balance. Reduced vision is common among seniors and yet it’s also an issue for those who refuse to have their eyes checked, no matter what the age. Reduced vision can result in failing to see steps, obstacles, puddles, dips in the road or sidewalk, etc.
Deteriorating physical ability
Generally, as people age, they become less active. Reduced physical activity leads to muscle atrophy, reduced bone mass and an overall reduced level of balance, flexibility and coordination. Maintaining a minimum level of exercise can help prevent a steep decline in one’s physical condition and reduce the effects of ageing.
There is a long list of health conditions that increase the risk of falling. Among the most common are Parkinson’s disease, heart conditions, diabetes, arthritis, kidney disease and cognitive impairments.
Unsafe living conditions
A dimly lit room, slippery carpet or floors, loose lying obstacles, or flooring in need of repair can contribute to loss of balance. Improving the safety of your living environment can play a huge factor in reducing the risk of falling. Consider installing safety bars, hand railings and ramps where they’re needed.
Many medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) can cause adverse side effects. Drowsiness, low blood pressure and of course, dizziness are among the culprits that have led to a fall. Mixing medications can also contribute to unwanted side effects and put you at risk of falling.
Often when a person has had surgery it can leave them with reduced strength, balance and increased pain. For example, putting weight on a leg after hip or knee surgery can lead to a disastrous fall if the patient experiences severe pain or is not strong enough to carry their weight. Post-surgical care and physiotherapy is a way to regain the previous level of physical ability.
Reduce the risk of falling permanently
At Global Health Physiotherapy, our team of experienced therapists will walk you through each step necessary to improve your balance and reduce the risk of falling. The combination of education, exercise therapy and a targeted rehabilitation program will empower you with confidence and reduce the risk of falling permanently.