Did you know…
One third of people that are aged 65 years and over will have at least one fall or more annually! Falls are a huge burden on the health care system and physiotherapist play a crucial role in preventing falls in the elderly.
Common causes of falls are:
- Trip 40%
- Balance 21%
- Slip 13.2%
- Dizzy 5%
- Weak legs 6%
- Unknown 14%
Falls in the elderly is a common problem and a serious health concern. It can lead to devastating consequences like a reduction in the level of activity, community participation, injuries and a loss of confidence. Daily life requires people to partake in a range of activities in an array of different environmental settings. A fall will generally occur due to a mismatch between a person’s physiology, their behaviour and the environmental requirements of the given task.
Individual falls are multifaceted and complex in nature. As physiotherapists, we cannot stop the ageing process but through specific interventions and assessment, we are able to predict when someone is at higher risk and therefore incorporate strategies to decrease the risk of a fall.
There is now in the research strong evidence to support the use of exercise interventions in the management of falls in the elderly. Interventions that focus on balance, strength, reaction time, vision and the cardiovascular system all have shown to lead to fewer falls. Your physiotherapist can identify contributing factors and tailor an individualised exercise program in order to limit the chances of a fall occurring.
If you have a history of falls or feel as if you’re at an increased risk, see one of our health professionals at OPH.