Falls and Balance

Eliminate falls and improve balance

Falls are a leading cause of injuries and hospital admissions for Australians over the age of 65. In more severe cases, these falls can lead to short or long term admission to aged care facilities, or even death as a result of injuries sustained.

Risk Factors

There are many different factors which contribute to a person’s falls risk. These include:

  • Environmental factors
  • Fall’s history (relating to confidence and fear of falling)
  • Medication
  • Level of cognition
  • Strength, balance, and mobility

How can Physiotherapy Help?

Some risk factors are non-modifiable, such as disease processes or advancing age, while others are considered modifiable. In terms of addressing modifiable risk factors, physiotherapy can have the most impact for strength, balance, and mobility with targeted, specific, and individualised group or home exercise programs.

Simple and easy exercise programs can be tailored to the needs of the individual to have the most effective outcome. Examples include:

  • Lower limb strengthening with chair and/or bed-based exercises
  • Supervised static and dynamic balance exercise plans
  • Group exercise classes incorporating proven effective balance interventions such as Tai Chi

Remember, prevention is better than the cure! Proactive interventions set out by a physiotherapist are a safe and effective method to increase or maintain balance, thereby reducing falls risk and empowering older Australians to live their lives with dignity and independence.