By Lenae Sexton, PT, DPT, OCS
If your parents are like mine, they are not quite as quick on their feet as they used to be. Between aches and pains, declination in overall activity, and the natural effects of aging, their strength and balance are less than ideal. This makes me worry about the worst-case scenario: falls, broken bones, or worse.
Per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- More than ¼ of Americans aged 65+ falls each year.
- Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.
- One out of 5 falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
- Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations.
- More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling.
- Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
- Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
I’m sure that someone comes to mind when you read these facts. Maybe it’s a parent, maybe it’s an aunt, maybe it’s yourself. The good news is that you can do something about it. Here are a couple of ideas…
- Community balance classes: These are ideal for those who don’t necessarily need one-on-one attention or supervision. It can also be a great social environment with peers. Here are a few options in the area:
These are just a few; there are many others in nearby cities, as well!
- Physical therapy: This is ideal for someone who wants a more individualized and skilled approach. A physical therapist will be able to determine what specific things need to be addressed to decrease that individual’s “fall risk.” There is also a possibility that health insurance will cover this.
At Positive Energy we have several expert physical therapists who are equipped to offer you or your loved one the expert care necessary. If a fall has already occurred, physical therapy is a must. If one hasn’t, be proactive and minimize the risk and avoid being a part of the statistics.
If you have questions about the above or want to get started, give us a shout! We are here to help!