Smart Moves Blog

Prevent falls

February 06, 2018

physical therapy house calls

My brother and his wife recently watched a play. Flanked by older adults, they witnessed a fall while leaving the theater, a crowd of Good Samaritans surrounding the victim.

A few facts about falls:

  • One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year
  • One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as a broken bone or head injury
  • More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries

Falls, with or without injury, impacts quality of life. My client fell in her house about a year ago. Although she didn’t hurt herself, she feared falling again, and stopped moving around as much. Her husband installed a stair lift in the house. She stopped going outside, fearful of navigating the three steps. She grew depressed. Her husband, busy taking care of her and the home, felt isolated.

A “yes” to any of the following three questions indicates an increased risk of falling.

  • Have you fallen in the past year?
  • Do you feel unsteady when standing or walking?
  • Do you worry about falling?

Falls are preventable. A combination of strength and balance exercises, home safety modifications, and medication review reduces risk of falls. Review medications with your doctor or pharmacist. Check with your neighborhood senior center for fall prevention programs. Or, get in touch to learn about strength and balance exercises and home safety modifications.

Manju Thomas

Written by Manju Thomas who lives and works in New York. Follow her on LinkedIn.