Falls prevention therapy is a multifaceted approach using interventions to reduce the risk of falling with physical activity. The exercise programs which are successful include a sufficient intensity to build muscle strength. Activities may include, strengthening, flexibility activities and dynamic balance training such as Tai Chi techniques. Treatment can be performed in groups or individually.
Who is falls prevention therapy for?
Research indicates that a cumulative effect of multiple interacting factors increases a fall risk in any one individual. Some of these risk factors include:
- History of Falls
- Gait disorder, use of a assistive device
- Balance disorder
- Muscle Weakness
- Visual deficits
- Neurologic deficits
- Impaired Activities of Daily Living (dressing, hygiene, feeding, etc)
- Cognitive impairment
- Over 80 years old
- More than four medications
- Cardiovascular deficits
What does falls prevention therapy involve?
A fall prevention program will focus on the multiple factors that can lead to increased fall risk. Patients will be evaluated to determine chance of risk for calling and a personal program will be developed. Treatment may include: core strengthening, balance retraining and functional activity training.
How long will falls prevention therapy take?
Falls prevention is a long term therapy which requires work with a physical therapist individually or in a group or community exercise program. Treatment length can vary dependent on individual needs.
What type of recovery/outcome can I expect from falls prevention therapy?
The goals of treatment would be:
- To provide information on creating a safe environment
- Decrease, eliminate or manage fall risk factors
- Build strength and endurance with an exercise program which continues outside the therapy setting
- Implement lifestyle changes that address ongoing risk factors including:
- Medication review
- Regular hearing and vision testing
- Physical activity