According to the CDC, more than one third of adults 65 and older fall each year in the United States. Although falls are common in older adults, falling is NOT a normal part of the aging process. Each year, over 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures and 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling. Unfortunately, hip fractures often times result in decreased independence and make it impossible for patients to live on their own. A well designed Physical Therapy protocol can help reduce your risk of falls and your fear of falling.
Your physical therapist will help reduce your risk of falling by assessing your risk for falling, designing an individualized plan for your fall-prevention needs, helping you make your home as safe as possible, educating you about the medical risk factors associated with falls, providing you with appropriate exercises, and by working with other health care professionals to address any underlying medical conditions that could increase your fall risk.
Your physical therapy program will consist of balance training and strength training to help reduce your risk of falls. Balance training has been shown to be an important and effective part of falls prevention. Your physical therapist will design exercises that challenge your ability to keep your balance as well as recover from a loss of balance.