Thursday September 22 is the autumnal equinox and first day of fall.
This day is also the 9th annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day.
This day, sponsored by the National Council on Aging, is to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults.
Falls threaten one’s safety and quality of life. Unfortunately, falling is common and affects around 30% of community-dwelling individuals over the age 651.
Some common factors that can lead to a fall include: decline in balance and gait, impaired vision, use of medications (ie: may lead to dizziness or dehydration as side-effect of medication), environmental hazards (ie: presence of easy to trip over items), and chronic medical conditions (ie: arthritis, diabetes, stroke).
Physical therapists play an instrumental role in preventing falls. A recent study related to various interventions to prevent falls determined that exercise is effective at reducing the risk for falls, reducing the rate of falls, and reducing the rate of injurious falls (falls which resulted in a fractured bone). Exercise was shown to be beneficial despite whether it was performed in a group setting or at home2.
A physical therapist can help design a specific exercise program which focuses on gait, balance, strengthening, and functional training for you or your aging loved one. Your P.T. can also help determine if an assisted device, such as a cane or walker, is appropriate for maintaining better balance.
If you have a history of falls or are concerned about falling, we encourage you to discuss your concerns with your primary care physician. You may be a good candidate for physical therapy and we are here to help!
Check out the National Council on Aging webpage to access more information on healthy aging and falls prevention. https://www.ncoa.org/healthy-aging/falls-prevention
Have a safe and wonderful week!
The therapists at SRVPT have a variety of backgrounds and are interested in sharing our knowledge with you! Check out their bios for more specific information.