Fall Prevention for Seniors: How Physical Therapy Can Help
As we age, our bodies undergo numerous changes that impact our overall mobility and balance. One of the most common concerns for seniors is the risk of falling, which can severely affect their health, independence, and mobility. Falls are not a natural part of ageing, and there are many steps you can take to prevent a fall. Physical Therapy can play a vital role in fall prevention.
Explore the importance of physical Therapy in a senior’s life. Find out how it can reduce the risk of falling while enhancing the quality of life and promoting independence.
Determining your Risk of Falling The National Council of Aging has developed a short survey to check your fall risk score. Completing this survey could give you an idea of your risks and how to proceed. Even though you might feel and act healthy, there could be underlying problems such as osteoporosis, muscle weakness, or even failing eyesight that could cause an unexpected fall. to stay healthy, injury-free, and independent. Many issues can cause a risk of falling—balance, instability during everyday activities and being prone to accidental falling due to muscle weakness. A Physical Therapist can assess your walking, balance, strength, and other factors that might contribute to your risk of falling.
- Improve Balance and Strength
With specific exercises, anyone can improve balance and strength. Practicing balance skills are critical to managing your fall risk and is essential, especially for older people. The stronger your legs, the better your balance, and the less chance you will experience a fall. There are specific exercises that can improve strength and balance for older people. For best results, the activities should feel challenging, but with the guidance and help of the physical therapist, it will strengthen your muscles and improve your balance.
A physical therapist can customize the exercise program based on the assessment results to suit each individual. The program will focus on improving strength, flexibility, and balance. A physical therapist will determine how many repetitions are necessary to prevent over-exhaustion and ensure progression. This will reduce the risk of falling and promote overall health and well-being.
- Building Coordination
Coordination is the ability to execute smooth, accurate, controlled motor responses smoothly, and there is optimal interaction of muscle function. The right muscle would perform the movement with the appropriate intensity to achieve the proper action at the right time.
A person needs three types of coordination skills: fine motor skills, gross motor skills and hand-eye skills. Motor performance tends to decline in old age due to individual differences in motor suppleness. This loss of movement might be strongly associated with hearing and vision loss and cognitive function. An experienced can correct movement and build coordination with strengthening exercises to improve muscular balance and kinesthetic feedback.
- Flexibility and Range of Motion
Seniors must maintain functional independence. Stretching exercises will enhance flexibility, reducing the risk of falling due to restricted movements. A physical therapist can help with an individualized training program to suit your need and ability to improve your movement.
- Education and Awareness
A physical therapist can help you change to new and better movements to prevent falling and educate seniors about fall prevention strategies. That includes getting around in your home and community safely. A physical therapist will study your movement patterns and suggest minor changes to maximize your movement. These changes will consist of physical exercises and strengthening of muscles, as mentioned before, but also minor changes such as going to the bathroom, sitting down, and getting up from a chair or low sofa. Home safety and proper use of assistive devices such as walkers to improve stability in certain areas – for example, next to your bed or in the bathroom to help with getting up, navigating obstacles, and potentially hazardous places to move around will educate seniors to be proactive when venturing out.
- Benefits of Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy will enhance the quality of life for seniors by increasing mobility and reducing the risk of falling. Seniors will continue being independent and minimize reliance on others to get around. Physical Therapy is not only preventative but can also help manage chronic pain such as arthritis and, in doing so, reduce the risk of falling. When seniors are physically more flexible and can move around and live independently, it positively affects their mental well-being, lessening stress and anxiety and improving cognitive functions.
- Rio Grande Valley Physical Therapy.
Falls among seniors are a significant concern that can severely affect the individual’s health, independence, and mental well-being. Physical therapists are here to help and support prevent seniors from falling.
With us on your doorstep in McAllen, Mission, Rio Grande City and Weslaco, we are within your reach to assist you in getting the preventative help to strengthen your muscles, improve coordination, prevent a fall, and improve your life. Contact us to speak to one of our expert therapists and find out how we can improve your life.