According to the Center for Disease Control, one in three adults age 65 and above will fall each year. Out of all these millions of adults, only about half go to see their doctor about this problem. It is extremely important to see your doctor no matter how minor you think the fall was. Your doctor may recommend seeing a physical therapist. Falling for older adults can be extremely serious. It can lead to anything from a simple sprained wrist to something more serious like a hip fracture or head trauma. What most people don’t know is that going to a physical therapist can significantly decrease your chance of falling.
There are many reasons why falls are such a serious issue for older adults. With age comes weakened muscles, lack of balance and vision issues. In addition, if you are walking with a cane or other walking aids and are on multiple medications, which many over age 65 are, then you are at even greater risk. All of the issues put together can make for a very dangerous situation for these adults.
If you fall into any of the categories or you are worried about your risk of falling, consult with your doctor to see if a physical therapist is the right fit for you. Your physical therapist will evaluate your current risk by reviewing your medical history, your list of medications and a brief physical exam. Your PT will measure the strength in your legs, test your balance as well as determining how steadily you are able to walk. Based on your results, your physical therapist will work with you to increase strength and balance and significantly reduce your risk of falling. Your PT will give you exercises to do at home as well. They will also keep you educated on different risks and tips to keep you healthy and stable.
If you, or someone you know, are over the age of 65, contact your primary doctor to see if physical therapy can help you and your case. Take these few simple steps and ensure a healthier and safer lifestyle.