September is Fall Prevention Month
More than 25% of people aged 65 years and older will fall each year. Falls are the most common cause of both traumatic brain injury and fractures in older adults and are the leading cause of unintentional death for this population. In older adults, accidental falls are associated with low physical functioning, reduced postural and gait stability, slow righting and equilibrium responses and orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure).
A fall can be defined as an event that results in a person coming to rest inadvertently on the ground or floor or other lower level. People often deny falling.
The common causes of falls are vision and hearing changes, dizziness, lower-extremity muscle weakness, loss of flexibility, pain, functional deficits in proprioception (sensory changes), balance, and walking. Comorbidities such as vestibular disorders, stroke, head injury, peripheral neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple sclerosis or dementia can lead to falls. Musculoskeletal disorders such as low back and neck pain and Cardiovascular conditions can lead to a fall.
Physical therapists play a vital role in all stages of fall prevention management by addressing strength, flexibility, endurance, balance and ambulation concerns. As part of a health team, Physical therapists address negative effects of polypharmacy, incontinence and urgency (bowel and bladder), frailty, and the safety in home and community environments.
The key is prevention. Are you concerned about falling or someone you know who has fallen? Call today for a Discovery Visit with Dr. Ann H. Newstead, PT, DPT, PhD at 210-833-8336
Do you know someone who has dizziness, has vertigo, or who is out of balance?
Older people are at more risk for injurious or fatal falls. One in four people over 65 years of age fall. Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths. (NCOA 2019)
The cost of a fall can be devastating, not only hospital costs (over $70B by 2020), but also loss of mobility and independence. Falls can also lead to a downward spiral of further decline in ability to function in the home and community, mood changes, social isolation and lack of interactions with family and friends. A fall may leave your loved one fearful of falling and unable to perform the activities they enjoy most e.g. walking, hiking, dancing, shopping, or golfing, to name a few.
Falling is not an inevitable result of aging and can be prevented through evidence-based fall prevention programs, such as Otago, that is delivered by a trained expert.
Do you want to improve the quality of life of someone you care about? Join us at our next Otago Workshop:
Otago Exercise Program Workshop – FREE EVENT!
Saturday, August 10th, 2019
10:00 am – 11:00 am
Please RSVP by calling (210) 833-8336
What else can you do to improve your loved one’s balance and reduce falls?
- Perform a safety check of the home environment by clearing out clutter, removing throw rugs and other trip hazards, and wearing proper fitting shoes
- Review all medications for side effects
- Encourage use of an appropriate assistive device such as a cane, a walking pole, or a walker
- Support by attending group or individual exercise activity programs to build muscles (force, endurance and power), aerobics, flexibility, and balance training
For more information about a Discovery Consultation Visit, please call (210) 833-8336, or send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Ann H. Newstead, PT, DPT, PhD
Certified Exercise Expert in Aging Adults (CEEAA)
Specialization in Geriatrics, Neurologic and Vestibular Rehabilitation
AHNew Physical Therapy
14418 Old Bandera Rd.
Old Town Helotes, TX 78023