Fall Prevention and Management Program at Advance Physical Therapy
The consequences of falling are, unfortunately, an area that therapists at Advance Physical Therapy know a lot about. We regularly have patients coming to us to deal with the harsh consequences of a fall on their body, mind and spirit. A person that experiences a fall can, of course, be left with a wide range of physical injuries. However, even without physical injuries, fear of future falls can become just as harmful. Fear of falling is associated with decreased balance confidence, leading to decreased mobility inside and outside the home, decreased fitness and strength. Soon fear becomes reality. The Centers for Disease Control reports 1 in 3 older adults above the age of 65 will experience a fall. Once a person has a balance related fall, their chances of falling again are much higher than average.
Falls can be prevented! Advance Physical Therapy offers services that can help identify a person’s risk for falling and establish a falls prevention program. Specific balance and movement tests have been developed that identify risk factors, and when multiple tests are performed and compared, a clear picture and understanding of a person’s risk factors emerge. There are many programs in our community that offer activities known to decrease the risk of falls. The best outcomes from a falls prevention program occur when the program is performed for 12 weeks, 1-3 times per week. Below are recommendations for some of these programs in our community that are helping people who are at risk for falling. It is tremendously rewarding for us to help people heal and regain their confidence in walking, movement!
Physical Therapy (PT): is advocated as an intervention for reducing fall risk. PT is highly recommended for those people recovering from injuries sustained after a fall, those who are highly fearful of falling, or those who might need a little extra time, patience and one on one care. Physical Therapy is covered under medical insurance plans.
Many local community resources exist that provide effective group balance exercise:
Orange County Department of Aging: provides several group classes that provide the types of exercises that are associated with improved balance and functional mobility in persons at risk for falling. A full list of offered classes can be accessed through the Senior Times, which is a publication of the Orange County Department of Aging. This publication can be read on-line for FREE at www.orangecountync.gov/aging. Some of these classes being offered include: Balance, Tai Chi, Movement, Strong and Steady and Yoga.
Tai Chi: has been shown to help improve balance and reduce the risk for falling. Advance Physical Therapy regularly offers Tai Chi for Arthritis class series. This program follows the Sun style Tai Chi intended to offer a gentle introduction to tai chi, with movements that are safe for the joints. This form can be practiced in standing and sitting. To learn more about our Tai Chi for Arthritis program call 919.932.7266 or visit http://advance-physicaltherapy.com/fitness-classes/.
Aquatic Exercise: has been shown to improve walking ability and balance. Aquatic exercise is a fun, safe way to improve balance, strength and whole body movement.
Aquatic exercise classes are regularly offered at:
· Community Center of Chapel Hill: 919-968-2790
· Homestead Aquatic Center: 919-968-2799
Contact these locations to learn about the schedule and hours of these classes.