• Broadway Physical Therapy

Fall Prevention for the Elderly

Updated: Feb 12, 2019

We have all heard the saying "I've fallen and can't get up" and seen the commercials for life alert bracelets. The sad reality behind these statements are that approximately 33% of seniors over the age of 65 fall every year.




         Numerous systems can play a factor in elderly falls including but not limited to: Musculoskeletal- Comprised of joints.muscles/soft tissue and skeletal system this allows the human body mobility/movement Vision- This allows us to see objects in both our direct sight but also peripheral site as well. Vestibular System- This gives us information about equilibrium/balance through sensory info.

As the human body ages these systems can be affected leading to increased risk of fall over time.  Wether it be dizziness, loss of balance, weakness or impaired gait pattern these are all contributing factors to falls in the elderly. 

 When attempting to limit or reduce falls in the elderly numerous things should be considered: Environment-  Clean clutter free environment with which there is no need to avoid stepping over/around objects. Wet spots or free floating floor rags should be avoided or non existent as well. When bathing bath seats or grab bars can help to avoid falls. Body Condition- If muscles are weak or de-conditioned physical therapy can help strengthen and improve gait pattern to help reduce the risk of falls. Physical Therapy can also help improve balance and proprioception to create a better ability to tackle dangerous spots/areas. 

In conclusion, If you know someone who is elderly and is at risk for falls take the necessary steps to try and avoid falls which can lead to broken bones/death. Consult a Physical Therapist to address any physical deficits while providing a safer ability to move independently.


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