During the winter months, especially, more than 1 in 3 elderly Canadians (ages 65 and older) are more prone to falling, according to the Canadian Association of Physiotherapy (CPA). It’s estimated that 50% of those who fall will suffer from moderate to severe injuries (sprains, hip fractures, or head traumas) that can permanently reduce their mobility and independence.
In the CPA’s article, “Preventing Falls: Physiotherapists Provide Tips for Seniors”, more than 90% of incidents that result in injuries are predictable and preventable. Studies show that modifying the home and reducing hazards in the community, such as proper snow and ice removal in the winter months, can reduce the risk of falls by half.
When these falls occur however, even when preventative measures have been taken, physiotherapists (PTs) can help. PTs not only treat injuries, they also teach you how to prevent the onset of pain or injury that can limit your ability. A PT can help evaluate the home environment to identify ways to prevent unnecessary accidents.
Due to the fear of falling, there are many seniors that imprison themselves in their homes. By doing this, they lose the physical benefits of normal activities and may compromise balance and muscle strength, putting themselves at even greater risk of falling, even at home. A targeted physiotherapy treatment program can help maintain or regain strength, flexibility, and endurance in a way that still feels safe and secure.
A PT can develop a treatment program based on the seniors’ medical history in order to maintain or regain strength, flexibility, and endurance in a way that still feels safe and secure. The PT will determine a general physical condition and will conduct a series of tests specifically designed to measure strength, flexibility, balance and walking. After determining any limitations, a program of exercises and activities will be prescribed with an overall goal of improving physical function.
To learn more about preventing falls and how physiotherapy can help with the prevention, check out the full article from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.
To book an appointment with one of our skilled PTs, contact our friendly staff by email or call 403.556.9911.