Falls and fall related injuries are among the most serious and common medical problems experienced by older adults. The statistics show that nearly one-third of older people fall each year, and half of them fall more than once. These falls can result in hip and other fractures, head injuries, and soft tissue damage. Even the least physically damaging of falls can impact psychologically with loss of confidence. Especially with hip fractures, recovery is often incomplete and overall health deteriorates.
Falls prevention is a variety of actions to attempt to help reduce the number of accidental falls suffered by older people. Research shows that multifactorial intervention programs are the most successful. Research is continuing in this area, but at present preventative measures yielding the greatest results include strength and balance training, home risk assessment and reviews of current medication (specifically those that have an effect on balance and muscle control).
At Motion Health our practitioners have recently spent some time reviewing the topic of Falls Prevention. In particular, we have implemented a strength & balance program as a preventative measure for our older clients, and for Post-falls; to reduce the likelihood of further falls.
On assessment, we consider many contributing factors as risks for falls:
- Biological Risk Factors: Such as mobility problems due to muscle weakness or balance problems, chronic health conditions such as arthritis or stroke, vision changes and vision loss, and loss of sensation in the feet.
- Behavioural Risk Factors: Such as inactivity, Side effects, and interactions of medications, and alcohol use
- Movement pattern Testing/Screening: Such as Gait, Sitting → Standing, and Squatting.
At Motion Health we are lucky to have a studio perfectly equipped to address the needs of each individual client assessed. We can make use of stable equipment to develop muscular strength, challenge co-ordination with specific drills, correct movement patterns such as squatting and sit → Stand, provide balance challenges with both stable and unstable surfaces, teach gait based exercises to improve confidence in walking, and maintain or improve the mobility in relevant joints such as the ankles, knees and hips.
If you are interested in being assessed for our Strength & Balance class or know someone who may benefit, please contact us to speak to our friendly reception team on your next visit or call 03 9825 2697.