Balance & falls prevention exercise program
Balance & falls prevention is more important than you may think. More than 85% of the injuries experienced by the elderly are due to falls.
Nearly 25% of people older than 65-year-old fall at least once a year and more than half of them do not report this to their family and doctor. Once you have a fall due to loss of balance, your chances of falling again doubles. As one age, the fear of falling deters them from partaking in various activities, especially if they have fallen before and received a serious injury.
Most common causes and risk factors for falls
Most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling. No matter what causes loss of balance and fall, the real problem is developing a fear of losing balance and fall and injury. Once the cause of the fall is identified, a program will be designed to address the cause and prevent falls and fractures.
- Lower extremity muscle weakness
- Health conditions such as diabetes and arthritis
- Postural muscle weakness
- Wrong type or poor fitting of walking aids (cane or walker)
- Previously fallen
- Bowel or bladder incontinence
- Vision problems
- Foot pain
- A hazardous environment such as loose rugs and poor lighting
- Dizziness due to medication such as tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants. Even some over-the-counter medicines can affect balance and how steady you are on your feet.
- Dizziness related to inner ear disorders such as Vertigo, inner ear weakness, and BPPV
The importance of balance & strength training in older adults
In addition to preventing falls and fractures, strength training for older adults reduces the risk of osteoporosis and many chronic diseases. Improving general conditioning and maintaining muscle strength assist in preventing or managing heart disease, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes and improves sleep and reduces depression & social withdrawal.
Physiomobility offers a balance & fall prevention exercise program for older adults. The program starts with an assessment by one of our physiotherapists and after the cause of balance impairment and risk factors are established, an exercise program will be devised which will then be carried out by our trained exercise therapist. This program is focused on improving strength, balance, and coordination.
Can Balance Training Help Prevent Injuries?
With the aid of a physiotherapist, seniors can overcome their fears of falling by taking fall prevention measures. Physiotherapists educate people about fall prevention measures; improve their strength with exercises to partake in activities such as gardening and walking. To ensure the environment is safe at home, they can provide them with guidelines to follow as well as asses the medications they are taking to find out if they increase their risk of falls.
Physiombility Dizziness & Balance Centre offers a combination of exercise programs and education to address mobility issues, muscle weakness and poor balance to prevent falls and fractures.
People aged 60 and over have a higher risk of fractures due to more frequent falls. Every year, about 40% of people over 65 fall at least once. Avoiding falls means fewer fractures, especially hip fractures. People with better posture, better balance, and stronger muscles are less likely to fall and are therefore less likely to be injured.
There are many causes of falling, but major factors that could put you at higher risk, include:
- Having experienced a fall
- Taking many different medications
- Having chronic diseases
- Having arthritis, especially in the legs
- Problems with vision
- Poor or impaired balance
- Weak muscles
- Changes in blood pressure or heart rate
What can you do to prevent falls & injuries?
Fall prevention is an important initiative. As one age, physical changes in muscles, bones, and joints affect strength and mobility. These physical changes along with health conditions, increased number of medications, decreased overall activity level, make falling more likely. More importantly, many older adult develops a fear of falling that further affect mobility and activity level. Fear of falling can seriously affect your life but there are strategies that can be employed to prevent falls and improve quality of life.
1. Make an appointment with your doctor & physiotherapist
2. Continue with light physical activities
Physical activities such as walking, tai chi, swimming, lightweight exercises can improve your balance and reduce your fall risk significantly.
3. Wear proper shoes
Floppy & loose slippers, high heels, and shoes with slippery soles decrease your grip and increase your risk of falling. Comfortable and lighter shoes also decrease joint pain.
4. Make your home safer
To make your home safer:
- Clear walkways by removing boxes, electrical cords and area rugs
- Remove tables and obstacles from high-traffic areas
- Secure area rugs with double-sided tape or remove loose rugs from your home
- Repair loose stairs, curbs, etc
- Store frequently used objects within easy reach in the cabinets
- Clean spilled food and liquid immediately
- Sit when putting your socks & shoes on
- Make your shower and bathroom safe by adding grip bars and shower seat
- Use a raised toilet seat or one with arms
5. Brighten up your living space
Brighten up your living space to prevent tripping and fall.
- Place night lights in areas that you frequent such as bedroom, bathroom, and hallways
- Place a night light next to bed with easy reach
- Turn on the lights before going up or downstairs
6. Use your cane, walker or other assistive devices
If you need a cane or walker to improve your gait or keep you steady, make sure to keep them handy and use them. If necessary, speak to a physiotherapist or occupational therapist to be assessed for needing an assistive device or home modification.
Balance & fall prevention program by Mobility Physiotherapy Clinic Lekki
The program starts with a comprehensive assessment by our physiotherapist that includes medical history, muscle strength, ability to walk and stand, and inner ear (vestibular balance system function. Based on the findings of the assessment and when the root cause of balance impairment has been identified, a treatment plan will be devised.
A combination of exercise, education, and support is required to improve balance and prevent falls and injuries. Mobility Physiotherapy Clinic Lekki’s program includes:
- Exercise therapy
- Assistive device prescription
- Home safety adjustments
- Balance training
- Footwear assessment
- Improve sensation and muscle control
At Mobility Physiotherapy Clinic Lekki, our team of qualified professionals works collaboratively to improve our patient’s balance, prevent falls and improve the overall quality of life. Whether you have a chronic medical condition, such as arthritis, or you have experienced a medical event, or suffer from dizziness and vertigo our experienced physiotherapists will provide you a personalized treatment enabling you to get back to your usual activities quickly.