The statistics are quite staggering;
- Falls is the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries in persons aged 65 and older.
- Falls represent the 6th leading cause of death in persons 65 and older
- One in three Americans aged 65 and older will fall this year
Will you be one of these statistics?
The good news is that most people can significantly reduce their risk for falls and the interventions can be quite simple, but they do need to be specific to your risk factors. While being active and going to the gym are a whole lot better for you than sitting on the couch, you may not be realizing the full falls risk reduction from this. Some simple additions or modifications to your activity can greatly reduce your likelihood of a fall.
Of course not every fall results in injury and not everyone is at high risk for falls, but everyone needs to take the risk of falling seriously and early intervention is always best.
Physical Therapists are the experts in movement and at South Aiken Physical Therapy we have taken the time to learn more about balance and falls as the at risk population is growing rapidly – starting in 2012, 8,000 to 10,000 baby boomers began turning 65 each day! In our enhanced 8,600 square foot facility we have the space and equipment to comprehensively manage this population. And as we do with all our patients, we provide extensive education on how to manage your risk when away from the clinic.
What many people first notice is that they feel less steady in their activities (walking, stepping off a curb, getting out of a golf bunker …) or a decline in their movement quality (on the tennis court or getting off the floor for example) and perhaps start to feel less confident in the things they do. We should not put all this down to “I must be getting too old for this” and accept the decline, as these are the warning signs for an increasing falls risk. At South Aiken Physical Therapy we like to address these signs early as they often can be reversed and we want you to keep being able to do the things you enjoy – golf, tennis, gardening, walking for exercise etc
Who is this program for?
The balance and falls program at South Aiken Physical Therapy is best for people who are out and about active in the community as well as their own home. Many of our participants play golf, pickleball, walk for exercise and do their own gardening. While they might be at a low risk for falling, they realize that does not mean no risk and they want to remain active in their lives as they are now.
Those at high risk of falling (have fallen recurrently, very unsteady walkers and those who cannot walk outside of their home environment) might be best suited to a less advanced, less challenging and more neurologically based program than available here.
Benefits of Our Program:
- Stay active pursuing your sports and hobbies.
- Reduce the risk of injury.
- Remain independent.
- Regain confidence and strength.
- Restore maximum range of motion.
- Improve overall function in daily activity quickly and safely.
- Learn how to avoid future problems
How long before benefits are realized?
Interventions commonly recommended including changes to the home environment, medication management and having your eyes examined can immediately reduce your falls risk.
Physical changes to strength, flexibility and balance reactions take longer but almost everyone should see improvements in our tests within a month.
Research has shown that 50 hours of appropriate exercise over 6 months (2 hours per week) is needed to fully realize the benefits of a balance and falls program. Much of this would be done on your own or in a group class situation rather than a prolonged course of Physical Therapy.
Be Wary Of…
… Programs where all you do is seated and machine exercises. A good program requires you to be challenged in standing, walking and functional tasks. …
… Clinics that don’t use standardized, research-supported tests, measures and interventions …
… Therapists that don’t have experience with this special area of Physical Therapy