St. Catharine’s physiotherapists at LV Physiotherapy can help people of all ages maintain healthy lifestyles and improve their quality of life. This includes falls prevention among older adults. Encouraging older adults to exercise and to be physically active is an important part of a fall prevention strategy. Exercise programs that promote balance training combined with strength and flexibility have been shown to be effective in significantly reducing falls and the injuries resulting from a fall.
Causes of Falls/ Risk Factors of Falling:
Falls occur more often among older adults due to the risk factors for falling increasing with age. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling are.
Biological Risk Factors:
- Muscle weakness
- Balance problems
- Medication side effects/interactions
- Chronic health conditions (e.g. stroke or arthritis)
- Vision changes/vision loss
- Loss of sensation in feet
Behavioral Risk Factors:
- Risky behaviours (e.g. standing on a chair in place of a step stool)
- Alcohol use
Environmental Risk Factors:
- Clutter and tripping hazards (e.g. throw rugs)
- Poor lighting
- Lack of stair railings
- Lack of grab bars around the tub or shower
- Poorly designed public spaces
Why is Falls Prevention Important?
Falls are a major threat to the health and independence of older adults. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among adults 65 and older.
- Every year, 1 in 3 older adults experiences a fall.
- People who fall once are 2-3 times more likely to fall again.
- 1 in 10 falls causes a serious injury like a hip fracture or head injury resulting in hospitalization. This can lead to a year long recovery, sometimes in a long-term care facility.
- Some adults are never able to live independently again.
- 25,000 older adults die as a result of falls each year.
Falls are preventable. However, with individuals living longer, falls will continue to increase unless effective fall prevention programs are put into place.
LV Physiotherapy offers a falls prevention program so that we can reduce falls and help older adults maintain their health and independence. Physiotherapist-led exercise programs reduce the risk and the rate of falls in older adults, while improving physical functioning, balance and muscle strength.
Falls prevention programs are more cost-effective than treating fall-related injuries.
What is the Falls Prevention Program at LV Physiotherapy?
The Falls Prevention Program at LV Physiotherapy aims to reduce the frequency, severity, and impact of preventable falls among older adults living in the Niagara region. Our goal is to prolong mobility and independence by helping seniors regain and maintain cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, muscle endurance and balance.
At LV Physiotherapy in St. Catharines, a comprehensive assessment is completed prior to initiating your Falls Prevention Program with one of our Physiotherapists to determine your individual risk factors, concerns, goals and treatment plan.
Following your assessment, your Physiotherapist will structure an individualized exercise plan and complete supervised exercises with you including:
- Endurance (aerobic) exercise e.g. walking program, recumbent bike, Nu-Step
- Resistance (strength) training exercises
- Various balance exercises (dynamic/static)
- ROM and stretching
- Functional fitness exercises (e.g. sit to stands, lifting and everyday movements)
- Safe home exercises
Your personalized program will be designed with your individual fitness level and goals in mind. Your Physiotherapist will also discuss home safety and tips on preventing falls.
Who should attend the Falls Prevention Program?
All patients over the age of 65, and those aged 50-64 who are judged by a clinician to be at a higher risk of falling because of an underlying condition, should have a multifactorial assessment completed and a patient-centered care plan developed for any identified risks.
Falls prevention Physiotherapy sessions at LV Physiotherapy in St. Catharines are a good fit for independent older adults who live in the community and are concerned about falling or about their balance.
They are also a good fit for older adults with greater mobility issues and can be adapted for individuals with all physical and cognitive disabilities.
Why Should I attend a Falls Prevention Program?
- 1 in 3 older adults will suffer a fall this year
- Falls can result in serious injury and hospitalization
- Fear of falling can lead to older adults withdrawing from activities
- Falls are preventable
- Intervention by a healthcare professional has been shown to reduce falls
Does Falls Prevention Work?
Fortunately, the opportunity to help reduce falls among older adults has never been better, because research has demonstrated that falls can be prevented. Fall prevention programs are effective and are offered at LV Physiotherapy in St. Catharines.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Government Agency