Falls prevention therapy is a multifaceted approach using interventions to reduce the risk of falling with physical activity. Successful exercise programs include enough 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 combination of many interacting factors can increase a person’s fall risk. Some of these risk factors include:
- A history of falls.
- A gait disorder or use of an assistive device.
- A balance disorder.
- Muscle weakness.
- Visual impairment.
- Neurologic conditions.
- Impaired activities of daily living (dressing, hygiene, feeding, etc).
- Cognitive impairment.
- Being over 80 years old.
- Taking more than four medications.
- Cardiovascular conditions.
What does falls prevention therapy involve?
A fall prevention program will focus on the multiple factors that can lead to increased fall risk. Healthcare providers will evaluate you to determine your fall risk and develop a personalized program to help you succeed in treatment. Treatment methods may include core strengthening, balance retraining and functional activity training.
How long will falls prevention therapy take?
Falls prevention is a long-term therapy that requires you to work with a physical therapist, either one-on-one or in a group or community exercise program. Treatment length can vary depending on your needs.
What type of recovery/outcome can I expect from falls prevention therapy?
The goals of treatment are to:
- Provide information on creating a safe environment.
- Decrease, eliminate or manage fall risk factors.
- Build strength and endurance with an exercise program that continues outside the therapy setting.
- Implement lifestyle changes that address ongoing risk factors — including medication review, regular hearing and vision testing and physical activity.