National Falls Awareness


Isn’t it a funny coincidence that National Falls Prevention Awareness Day “falls” on the same day as the first day of fall?

But it is the perfect time to talk about improving balance in your life. Moving from summer to fall we experience a balancing of the sunlight and moonlight hours. There is a shift in the rhythm of our routines, maybe even a complete reorganization of them! As you balance your commitments this fall, consider adding physical balance to your routine.

The CDC reports that about one third of people aged 65 years and older will fall each year. This increases to 50% of people 80 years and older. Only 15% of these falls are unavoidable! The other 85% are due to combinations of the following risk factors:

  • Strength, Balance and Mobility deficits

  • Medication errors and mismanagement

  • Vision, Inner ear, or Cognitive impairment

  • Depression

  • Effects of multiple medical conditions.1

A Physical Therapist can help you evaluate your risk of falling by examination and evaluation of your:

  • Medical history – including nervous system disorders such as Stroke or Parkinsonism, history of fall, and more

  • Current medications

  • Vision and vestibular systems

  • Vital signs

  • Footwear and feet

  • Strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, gait, posture

We also perform a home safety assessment and a quick screen of your cognitive abilities.2
If a concern is found a Physical Therapist can address limitations in:

  • strength

  • flexibilty

  • coordination

  • sensation

  • balance

  • gait

  • visual tracking

  • inner ear function

We also educate clients on how to reduce your fall risk and your fear of falling. Finally, we refer clients to the appropriate medical profession for consultation regarding medication, cognitive and medical issues as they are not within our scope of practice.3

After Physical Therapy, there are many wonderful community programs for balance training to help you maintain your balance!

Wishing you a Fall-Free Fall!

Additional resources you may find helpful

http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/index.html

https://www.ncoa.org/healthy-aging/falls-prevention/

My Resources

  1. http://www.ptnow.org/ClinicalSummaries/QuickDetail.aspx?cid=8616b838-1be2-499c-b56a-fc901d149f61

  2. http://www.moveforwardpt.com/symptomsconditionsdetail.aspx?cid=85726fb6-14c4-4c16-9a4c-3736dceac9f0#.VgM6N3vJAt8

  3. http://www.moveforwardpt.com/symptomsconditionsdetail.aspx?cid=1bb9c784-a874-43b1-976f-d0de03c19f99#.VgM6NXvJAt9

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