One-third of people over the age of 65 suffer from a fall each year.
Falls are the number one cause of hospital trauma admissions, injuries and accident-related deaths in this people over 65.
In 2002, fall-related injuries were the cause of death for approximately 13,000 Americans.
The National Safety Council expects the number of people over age 65 to double by the year 2030, which will potentially double the number of falls in this age group.
Why Do People Over 65 Fall More?
The ability to avoid falling is dependent on a persons ability to maintain balance in a variety of situations. Maintaining balance is a complex process that relies on multiple sensory systems working together. These sensory systems include receptors in the foot and ankle as well as the eyes and the inner ear. The brain receives signals from these sensory systems and in turn sends signals to the muscles of the trunk and lower extremities to react and maintain balance. As we age the sensory systems may become slower and the muscles may become weak and unable to adjust quick enough or powerful enough to avoid falling.
Preventing Falls: The Good News!
Falls in this population can be avoided with proper education and training. Stopfalls.org is a great resource for education on this topic. You can download a flyer from their site called Fall Prevention Tips here. Education is a vital component to fall prevention. However, at least one study has found that balance training exercises provided by a licensed physical therapist can be even more effective than education alone. These exercises focus on improving positional sense as well as strengthening of the lower extremities and the core muscles of the trunk so that they can react more effectively to correct a loss of balance.
If you live in the Lakewood, CO or the Denver Metro area and you or a loved one would like to stay out of the hospital by avoiding a fall please contact Belmar Physical Therapy at (303) 274-2404 or email us by clicking here >>