Were you aware that falls are the #1 cause of injury among those aged 65 and older? One out of every 3 seniors will experience a fall on an annual basis—the primary reason why seniors experience a loss of independence as they age. Currently, related healthcare costs occupy 42% of the provincial healthcare budget.
The good news is that you can prevent falls by identifying your individual risks factors for falling. These risk factors often fit into the following categories: biological/intrinsic, behavioral, social/ economic, and environmental.
Altered balance, muscle weakness, and deconditioning would be considered biological/intrinsic risk factors. You can modify those risks through interventions such as physiotherapy or exercise. Conversely, identifying inappropriate footwear, lack of social support, and home hazards, that fit into the remaining categories, would also significantly reduce your risk of falling.
A physiotherapy assessment should be your first step in making sure you are doing everything you can to prevent falls. Your physiotherapist will complete a thorough history and objective assessment to identify your own unique risk factors. Once identified, he/she can implement strategic solutions to reduce your risk and incidence of falling. These solutions often include hands-on treatment, individualized exercise, community-based exercise, referral to other healthcare professionals, prescription of gait aids/footwear, or home modifications, to name a few.
Kym Morrison is a physiotherapist at CBI Eagle Creek with special interest and training to better serve seniors. She encourages self efficacy and independence to maximize her clients’ quality of life.
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