Falls are a serious concern for seniors because they can lead to injuries, hospitalizations, and a loss of independence. There are a number of falls prevention tips for seniors, including maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, making simple changes to your environment, and being aware of medication side effects.
If you or a loved one are at risk for falling at home, the Methodist Home offers outpatient therapy services that can help increase balance, mobility, strength, and more.
Common Causes of Falls in Seniors
Falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults due to changes in balance, spatial awareness, and vision. Medication side effects can also contribute to falls, as some drugs can cause dizziness, confusion, or other symptoms that affect balance.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are responsible for three million emergency department visits and over 800,000 hospitalizations each year. These falls can have serious consequences, such as hip fractures, traumatic brain injuries, or even death.
The good news is that falls are largely preventable, and by taking steps to reduce their risk, seniors can stay safe and maintain their independence for longer.
Falls Prevention Tips for Seniors
There are several practical steps that seniors can take to reduce their risk of falls. In the home environment, you should remove tripping hazards like loose rugs, electrical cords, or cluttered pathways. You may also wish to improve lighting to make it easier to see obstacles and avoid tripping. It’s also important to be mindful of footwear, choosing shoes with good support and traction, even while walking inside your home, to reduce the risk of slips and falls.
Staying active to maintain balance, flexibility, strength, and mobility is a crucial step in falls prevention. Seniors can benefit from exercises that improve strength and flexibility, such as yoga, tai chi, or resistance training.
Physical therapy can also be helpful, as a therapist can provide personalized exercises and techniques to improve balance and reduce the risk of falling. Here at the Methodist Home, we offer short term rehabilitation including inpatient therapy, but we also offer outpatient therapy services.
It’s also important for seniors to talk to their doctor about medications that could increase the risk of falls. Certain drugs, such as sedatives or antidepressants, can cause dizziness, drowsiness, or other side effects that affect balance and coordination. A doctor can help determine if a medication is necessary, or if an alternative treatment with fewer side effects may be a better option.
Outpatient Therapy at the Methodist Home
Outpatient therapy is convenient for patients because it doesn’t require them to be an inpatient of a hospital or other care facility and they can receive therapy at a time that works best for them. It offers personalized care in a comfortable setting, with each treatment plan specific to each patient.
Outpatient therapy services at the Methodist Home include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Our team of experienced, licensed therapists understands the unique needs of seniors and is committed to helping them improve their strength, balance, and overall health.
Can We Help You?
Falls prevention is critical for seniors to maintain their independence and quality of life. By understanding the common causes of falls and taking practical steps to prevent them, seniors can significantly reduce their risk of falling. Receiving outpatient therapy at the Methodist Home is a valuable tool for seniors who want to improve their strength, balance, and mobility, and prevent falls.
If you or a loved one are interested in outpatient therapy, contact us today.