Elder Care: Balance Training and Fall Prevention

fall prevention

If you have ever faced the situation of having to take care of an aging parent, you know how scary it can be for your parent to fall. If you haven’t been in that situation, count yourself lucky. When your parents reach a certain age, their bones become fragile and a simple fall that would leave a bruise on a normal person can break their bones. But short of putting them into a bubble or into a nursing home, how can you prevent a fall for your loved one?

Balance Training at Life Fitness PT
Balance problems can stem from a variety of causes like head injuries, inner ear disorders, orthopedic conditions, stroke, and other neurological conditions. Every year one out of three adults over the age of 65 experience dizziness, balance problems, or falls. These falls can be debilitating for older adults and could place them into the care of a loved one or a nursing home/rehabilitation center. As a person ages their body becomes less stable as their center of gravity shifts. Even medicines can cause balance problems as well as vertigo and dizziness. With the right exercises you will be able to strengthen your muscles and sharpen your reflexes that could save yourself from broken bones.

Fall Prevention
One of the ways to prevent falls is to attend balance training at Life Fitness PT. Our physical therapists will help strengthen core muscles as well as the reaction times to falls. If your reaction time is quickened, you will be able to grab onto something as you fall to prevent yourself from injury.

The Components of Training
Your loved one will be treated with respect as we go through several different aspects of training. While every patient is different and has different needs there are basic things we can do to help them with their balance. We will first work on body position. This will help them find their center of gravity and keep them from toppling over. Many older adults are hunched over because their bones are aging. We will help them find a better way to sit and stand so they are comfortable and stable on their feet. In general, people follow their noses. So if you are looking down, you may end up there because you aren’t paying attention to the world in front of you. It is easier to maintain balance when you are looking ahead rather than at your feet. Most falls happen at night when it is darker and people rely on artificial lights to see. We will help your loved one work on seeing in different types of environments as well as with their eyes closed. Many surfaces in a home are not as smooth as we could like them to be, from carpets bulging to the texture of carpets and steps. These things can make people unstable on their feet. With our training, your parent will be put through an obstacle course that will strengthen their maneuvering skills.

Many older adults become fearful after a fall. Worrying that they might fall again, they are forced to move into an assisted living facility, selling their homes and their possessions in order to afford moving into the facility. But with fall prevention and balance training, your aging relative can stay in their home and feel safe and confident staying at home by their selves.

Contact Us to Learn More About Physical Therapy
If you’d like to schedule an appointment to help with your aches and pains, call Life Fitness Physical Therapy today at 410-368-1026, or find a nearby location. If you’d like more information about what to expect on your first visit with us, please check out our Patient Information page.

More information about balance and fall prevention