Believe it or not, falls in the older adult population is an important topic in our healthcare system. A fall is defined as an event which results in a person coming to rest inadvertently on the ground or another lower level. It is estimated that between 20-30% of Canadian older adults fall each year. Falls remain the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations in older adults. A common injury suffered in older adults is a hip fracture, in which falls are the direct cause of 95% of those fractures. Due to the hospitalization after a fall and the deconditioning that comes with it, many older adults are discharged to a long-term care facility. 

So, what types of activities are causing these falls? A study collected data on older adult falls and found that 45% are a result of simply walking on any type of surface, with the second highest 16% being walking on snow or ice and third 13% up and down stairs.  

There are both intrinsic and extrinsic factors that can increase the risk of falling. Extrinsic meaning things in our environment. For example., the lighting in our house, steps/stairs, the set-up of furniture, and household pets. Some of the known intrinsic risk factors include, age, cognitive impairment, balance impairments, lower extremity weakness, and pain. However, the greatest predictor of a future fall is a history of a previous fall.  

Physiotherapy can help reduce the risk of falling in the older adult population. A physiotherapist will first take you through a in depth assessment, which may include asking questions about your home set up, but also assessing physical attributes such as strength and balance. From there, an individualized plan of care will be created for you involving strategies and exercises to reduce the risk of a future fall.  

If you are suffering from falls, or know of someone who is, call our clinic today and one of our physiotherapists will be glad to help you stay on your feet! South Simcoe Physiotherapy proudly serves Alliston, Tottenham, Beeton, New Tecumseth and surrounding regions with personalized one on one physiotherapy care.

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