Falls amongst the older population have far-reaching consequences beyond the immediate injury. These can include an increased fear of falling, and a reduction in the quality of life. As a result, it is vital to implement strategies to reduce the frequency of falls in older people.
There are multiple strategies that can be implemented to prevent falls in older people.
The most important is exercise – particularly exercises that specifically target balance, however exercises that strengthen the core and lower limbs, as well as improve general fitness, are also important. Our physiotherapists are able to perform an assessment of your current falls risk and design a program suited to your needs. We also have Falls Prevention classes which are run by our physios, where you can exercise in a group setting and enjoy the benefits of exercising with friends.
There is also evidence for the importance of healthy vitamin D and calcium levels in order to improve bone strength and density. As a result, this would reduce the risk of fractures should there be a fall. Vitamin D also plays a role in muscle strength gains and psychomotor performance, making it a crucial addition to a falls prevention management plan. Our dietician can talk through options for vitamin D and calcium supplementation if your diet is lacking in these vital nutrients.
Your home environment can also put you at a higher risk of falls. There are numerous (often hidden) risk factors in the home that can be easily modified or eliminated. This can include floor coverings, footwear type, lighting, stairs/steps and shower hobs. Our OT is able to perform a cognitive assessment, as well as assess your house to identify falls risks and suggest recommendations to make your home safer.
We also have a relationship with a home improvement company, who is then able to carry out the modifications to your house.
At Heroes Gym & Rehab, we have all the people, and all the tools, you need to minimise your risk of falls and enjoy a more active and safer life, both inside and outside the home.