Mobility and Fall Prevention – Keys to Healthy Aging

When asking a group of adults 65 years and older what comes to mind regarding falls, I would receive a variety of responses. Some may say because they are healthy and have never fallen, it isn’t relevant, or it won’t happen to them.  Those who have fallen may say it was no big deal because they weren’t hurt. Others may express a fear of falling because they have seen the devastating effects of a friend or loved one that has fallen. As a result of this fear, they limit their activities. When a person becomes less active, they become weaker, resulting in an increased risk for falls. Whatever the case may be, falls in the older population are a big deal and are not considered a normal part of aging.

Many people don’t realize that falls are the leading cause of death in adults 65 years or older. One in four older adults fall each year, leading to over 3 million visits to the emergency room. Research has shown that once a person falls, the risk for a second fall doubles. One in five falls cause a serious injury that limit a person’s independence in getting around and performing their everyday activities. Falls can be a threat to remain independent as a person ages.

The best way to avoid a fall is to prevent one. Working with a qualified fall prevention specialist can help determine a person’s fall risk and identify deficits that may contribute to falls such as lower body weakness, difficulty walking, medications, or poor balance. A home assessment can identify areas of the home that may contribute to a risk for falls such as clutter, poor lighting, or equipment needs. Falls don’t have to be an accepted, unavoidable part of aging.

As we age, it is important to develop a mobility plan to prevent falls and reduce the risk of falls to you or your loved ones. Just as you have a financial plan or a medical care plan, a mobility plan can help achieve you or your loved one’s goals throughout the aging process. As a certified Fall Prevention Specialist and Physical Therapist, I would be happy to complete a fall risk assessment
and create a plan to maintain or improve your mobility.

Teresa Keffer, PT, DPT, CFPS

By |Published On: Mar 22, 2022|

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!