Falls continue to be the leading cause of injury-related hospitalization among community-dwelling seniors over the age of 65. One in three of those seniors will fall every year. It’s a huge public health issue, and affect the lives of many older adults. Preventing falls through a tailored exercise program, in which strength and balance training are key components, can reduce falls prevalence.
It can also improve health in other ways, including positive systemic and cardiovascular effects. As the world’s population continues to age, Physiotherapists have a major role in enhancing quality of life and encouraging physical activity while reducing the frequency of falls in older persons.
In order to successfully tackle a unintentional falls, the risk factors associated with this will be examined individually. These usually include living alone, increased age, greater BMI, poor balance, lack of physical activity, using a walking aid, depression, medications for depression or hypertension, and recent falls.
we at gaman physio care assess the Balance, strength, gait and endurance prior to planning a falls prevention program. Assessment tests includes: a functional reach test, standing balance assessment, lower limb strength, “chair stand” test, timed up and go, time taken to climb up and down four steps, and a six minute walk test.
Fall prevention programme at gaman physio care, targets lower limb strengthening, balance exercises, functional exercises, and active range of motion exercises and stretches. A program will be tailored for those at risk of falling, especially those with an established fear of falling. A 30 minute program should be carried out at least three times weekly. This will be in association with a walking program (outside the home), again, three times weekly.
Lower limb strengthening will incorporate moderate intensity exercises with weights, focusing on the following muscle groups: hip extensors and abductors, knee flexors and extensors, inner range quadriceps, ankle plantarflexors and dorsiflexors. Balance exercise and functional activities include tandem walking, walking on toes and walking on the heels, walking backwards, sideways, and turning around, stepping over objects, stair climbing in the home, sit to stand activities, bending to pick up objects, and knee squats. Stretching of tight muscles will also be included, especially muscles of the neck to improve rotation, and of the hip and lower limb to encourage correct gait patterns.
we at gaman physio care also educate the patient regarding safe transfers and falling risk factors, adapting assistive devices, health promotion and awareness.
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