Falling is a common problem amongst the elderly, and it can result in serious injury. It is estimated that one in every three adults aged 65 and older suffers from a fall every year. Fall related injuries range from hip fractures to head trauma. After a fall, patients experience a significant loss of confidence and a fear of falling when walking unaided. Recovery from a fall involves physical as well as psychological elements. It is important for the patient to seek physical therapy for treatment and fall prevention.
Why do elderly patients fall?
Visual problems, muscle weakness and low blood pressure can cause a loss of balance, which leads to a fall. Other reasons include conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and other conditions that affect the nerves. Occasionally, middle ear problems (vestibular problems) can occur and balance can be affected. The good news is, falls can be largely prevented with the right precautions.
I’m Steve Taylor, Physical Therapist of Southern Physical and Occupational Therapy Services
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