Cold weather, icy roads and uneven pavements can be very treacherous especially for elderly people and a fall can have detrimental consequences for them and their families. Physiotherapy can offer fall prevention sessions and help recover from the consequences of one.
Research shows that:
Falls and related injuries are a significant problem for older people. 30% of people over 65, and 50% of people over 80 have at least one fall in a year, with one fall in twenty leading to hospital admission and one in ten causing significant injury
- After a fall, an older person has a 50 per cent probability of having their mobility seriously impaired
- Falls destroy confidence, increase isolation and reduce independence, with around 1 in 10 older people who fall becoming afraid to leave their homes in case they fall again.
- A tailored exercise program can reduce falls by as much as 54 per cent.
There are many different reasons why people fall in later life. It can happen as a result of dizziness caused by different medications or medical conditions, such as syncope or Parkinson’s Disease. Falls can be caused by other factors such as poorly fitting footwear and uneven paving, or by the conditions associated with ageing, such as natural deterioration in eyesight and muscle strength, which can make it difficult to balance, see and step over potential hazards. In many cases, it is not simply one, but a combination of these risk factors that leads to a fall.
Good detective work is therefore essential when it comes to determining the causes of, and effective treatment for a fall.
This can include medication reviews and home safety or hazard assessments, which should be carried out by the treating doctor and occupational therapy services.
Since balance impairment and muscle weakness caused by ageing and disuse are the most prevalent risk factors for falls which can be addressed, the most effective intervention is therapeutic exercise. This is what we are experienced in.
There is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution. The exercise programs must be tailored to the individual in order to be effective, the choice and intensity of the exercise must be at the right level and enable participants to progress.
Don’t wait for a fall to happen, prevent it instead.
At Swissphysio our experienced physiotherapists are happy to help you or your relatives to avoid falls or recover from one. We can offer private sessions at the clinic (we are based at Tynemouth metro station) as well as home visits if in the area. Just call us on 0191 296 0567 for more information.
North Tyneside Hospitals also offer services, information and tips about fall prevention, see links below