One out of every three adults age 65 and older falls each year, causing some seniors to lose their independence or develop more serious medical conditions. If you are a senior, it’s important you take steps to prevent falls and improve your personal safety.
Physical therapists, who specialize in helping the body move and function, can use exercise and other therapies to help you prevent falls.
Individualized Exercise Program
The right exercise program will help improve your strength, balance and flexibility. It can also help improve certain risk factors for falls, such as:
- Poor balance
- Weak leg muscles
- Vision problems
- Peripheral neuropathy
Your physical therapists will create an exercise program designed especially for you and your body. Your program might include one or more of these exercises:
- Weight training
- Dance steps
- Walking in circles or figure-8s
- Obstacle courses
- Walking sessions to improve endurance
You might participate in these exercises at a physical therapy location or at home, depending on your abilities. Our attentive staff at Haymarket Physical Therapy will help make sure your exercise program is designed to be safe and effective. Always follow your physical therapist’s recommendations to ensure your safety.
Assistive devices like canes and walkers can help prevent falls. Your physical therapists can help you decide if you need and assistive device, take measurements to ensure you get the right one and teach you how to use the device safely.
Home Risk Assessment
Certain aspects of your home and home decor may
increase your risk of falls. Your physical therapist can help you make your home safer using a home risk assessment. During the assessment, the physical therapist may encourage you to make small changes to your home, such as:
- Removing rugs or add nonskid rug liners
- Reorganizing the kitchen or closets so commonly used items are easy to reach
- Ensuring all stairs have handrails on both sides
- Adding lighting to make it easier to see
- Placing grab bars in the bathroom to make it easier to stand up
The physical therapists at Haymarket Physical Therapy are trained to assist you in recovering from a fall and preventing a future injury. If you feel that you have balance deficits or are fearful of falling, contact us today to determine if physical therapy would be beneficial for you!