fall prevention balance training

Falls of Seniors: What to do

More than one third of person 65 years of age or older fall each year and in half of such cases the falls are recurrent.

If you are a senior, ie 60 year or older that means you need to take more care and precautions for yourself. Other than medical conditions or diseases which you take care by doing routine blood tests and investigations, you should not forget to keep yourself free from falls.

What are falls?

Falls include dropping from a standing or sitting position or from ladder or stepladder.

Falls are common in elderly. It has been proven scientifically that with aging, a lot of brain structures, muscles strength, vision, hearing and sensations show a gradual decline.

Causes of fall

Many things can put you at higher (double or triple) risk for a fall.

Medical Risk Factors

·         Impaired musculoskeletal function, gait (read walking style) abnormality and osteoporosis                 falls

·         Cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), blood pressure fluctuation

·         Depression, Alzheimer’s disease and senility

·         Arthritis, hip weakness and imbalance

·         Neurologic conditions including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis etc.

·         Urinary and bladder dysfunction

·         Vision or hearing loss

·         Cancer that affects the bones

·         Side effects of medications

Personal Risk Factors

·         Age. The risk for a fall increases with age. Normal aging affects our eyesight, balance, strength, and ability to quickly react to our environments.

·         Activity. Lack of exercise leads to decreased balance, coordination, and bone and muscle strength.

·         Habits. Excessive alcohol intake and smoking decrease bone strength. Alcohol use can also cause unsteadiness and slow reaction times.

·         Diet. A poor diet and not getting enough water will deplete strength and energy, and can make it hard to move and do everyday activities.

 

Falls and accidents seldom “just happen”      People should not fall

Why should you NOT fall?

As a result of fall, you may get a small injury like a bruise or mild bleeding or a muscle pull to some serious injuries like fracture (break in bone) or brain injury and deaths too.

If you are osteoporotic (a condition in which bones are already weak) chances of fracture increases.

Fall risk increases with age. Henceforth, falls are common and serious health problem with devastating consequences in elderly

Prevention of fall is possible by early diagnosis and awareness about intervention. Fall should not be perceived as inevitable part of aging. All elderly, be sure to discuss the fall with doctor, even if you are not hurt. It can also be a sign of new medical condition like diabetes or change in blood pressure.

Physiotherapists play a vital role in prevention of falls.

 

Physiotherapy and rehabilitation at ReLivaTM for fall prevention

Reliva therapists conduct a detail check of elderly muscles strength and sensations of body more specifically for legs. Reliva therapists also conduct scientifically proven validated scales (Fall risk assessment scale and Berg Balance scale) to know if there is any risk of fall and to know balance problems in elderly.

Based on which, Reliva therapists design an exercise protocol to improve strength and balance in sitting, standing as well as walking. Physiotherapists are specially trained for balance specific exercises.  If required, they will prescribe an assistive device (walker or stick which can later be gradually discontinued ) with regular supervised exercise sessions.

Call Reliva if:

You are an elderly

You want to get fall risk check

You want to get balance check

You want strengthening and balance exercises

You want home modification tips.

For simple Tips to Prevent Falls, click here and see the infographic.

What to do if you had a Fall

  • Do not panic. Assess the situation and determine if you are hurt.
  • Slide or crawl along the floor to the nearest couch or chair and try to get up.
  • If you cannot get up, call for help.
  • If you are alone, slowly crawl to the telephone and call nearest hospital or relatives.
  • Once you are ok, do see a doctor or a Physiotherapist even if you haven’t hurt yourself, to ascertain the reason for the fall.

Related articles: Falls Prevention Tips

This article is purely for general information. Please contact your healthcare expert for specialised medical care. Please go through our Disclaimer and Privacy policy.

recovery from knee pain

Dreams come true!

Painful knees are a very common occurrence among the elderly and so was with Mr Narayanaswamy. He continued to live with painful knees which eventually hampered his everyday activity. There was chronic pain and despite medication his walking and general movement began to decline. He continued to console himself that the reduced activity and stamina was owing to his increasing age.

But after a prolonged period of about two years, by when he was bed-ridden and almost totally inactive – he underwent total knee replacement as advised by his doctor.

After an initial rehab of knee replacement, an average person usually reports significant improvement in walking and other movements. Unfortunately Mr Narayanaswamy was not showing any signs of recovery. Instead he consistently suffered from fever and weight loss. Eventually a TB infection was diagnosed that had affected the TKR implant too. So a revision surgery had to be performed on him shortly, thereafter.

It is at this stage that I got to meet Mr S. Narayanaswamy – who had gone through so much in the last two years. Not just being physically weak he was feeling mentally drained too. He recalls “After I came from the hospital, I was very low on physical as well as mental strength. I was depressed also.  Even the slightest of movement made me breathless.

I was to be his home visit Physiotherapist from ReLiva. On his initial assessment, I realized that it was not just his stamina, he was even having difficulty balancing himself while standing. He had been bed-ridden and completely inactive for more than a year.

As a physiotherapist, I identified that his immediate goal was to improve his balance, regain strength and thereafter build up his stamina. All of these eventually will help him regain self-confidence.

Together we worked hard day-in and day-out. I would visit him regularly at his place and work on his goals through a combination of therapy and exercises. Gradually he showed signs of recovery and began to stand properly on his own. We systematically progressed to the next set of exercises. Now I had prescribed him several movements to be done on his own during the rest of the day. The committed and sincere person that he was, he would do those home exercises diligently on most occasions. We were moving from one strength to another.

It was at the end of another session of physiotherapy when he broke the news with a beaming smile that he was thinking of visiting his daughter abroad!

We had come a long way. Here was a man who was completely bed-ridden for a year and a half and could not even speak on the telephone for more than a minute and NOW – he wanted to travel overseas! He was daring to dream and together we shall have to make his dream come true! We now worked towards a deadline when he could walk independently to take this long journey on his own.

After another bout of intense physiotherapy, he reported, “my energy level has gone up, I have regained my emotional strength, there is no depression, no breathlessness! I am walking properly and climbing stairs.”

Last, I saw him the day before he was to take his flight and he walked on his own with his walking stick. We did some strengthening exercises which he would continue doing on his own while he was away. He told me that “I am a happy individual now. I am back to life!” … what he didn’t realise was : What a happy and delighted therapist he was leaving behind in me watching his dream come true!

As shared by Dr Shrutika Parab (PT). Dr Shrutika is a home visit physiotherapist with ReLiva Physiotherapy. She is immensely popular among her clients for her enthusiastic and positive approach. You can contact her directly at ReLiva (+91 9920991584) or email to her at contact@reliva.in.

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