According to the National Council on Aging
(NCOA), falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Did you know that one in four Americans older than 65 years old experience a fall each year? Many of those falls result in broken hips, arms and pelvises, which can lead to potentially fatal complications.
September is National Fall Prevention Month. The Christ Hospital’s balance therapy team is on hand to raise awareness about fall prevention, as well as to offer comprehensive fall prevention support and resources available to community members.
Scared of falling? We’re here to help.
Falling is scary, especially as an older adult. The vestibular therapy program at The Christ Hospital is a specific type of rehabilitative service for patients with dizziness, vertigo or balance issues.
“We recommend that any individual suffering from balance issues undergo a comprehensive balance evaluation by a physical therapist,” says Tim Enwright, clinical manager and physical therapist at The Christ Hospital. “This will find the cause of the balance deficit and develop a treatment plan to manage the issue effectively.”
Is your loved one at risk for falling?
Many older adults are at a higher risk for falling, especially in unfamiliar or uneven terrain. If you are concerned about your loved one’s balance and mobility, take a few minutes to observe your loved one. Key things to look for include:
- Are they walking considerably less?
- Are they “furniture surfing”?
- Are they looking for the next external support as they walk?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, make an appointment with your loved one’s physician to discuss a referral to physical therapy. As your loved one ages, their fear of falling grows exponentially. Taking the proactive step of consulting with a physician and specialized balance therapist can improve your loved one’s mobility and stability.
“The physical therapist that specializes in balance therapy has the unique skill, and privilege, to help patients regain their functional independence,” says Tim. “Patients are very thankful when they regain their stability and can move independently with greater confidence and proficiency.” If you or a loved one would like to meet with a physician to discuss your balance and stability concerns, our compassionate team of specialized physicians are here to help. Schedule an appointment online with one of our primary care physicians today.