The fall season means more than beautiful colors, cider mill visits, and pumpkin spice…it’s also fall prevention time! Did you know that 1 in 4 Americans aged 65+ falls every year? Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Falls are costly—in dollars and in quality of life. However, falling is not an inevitable part of aging. Through practical lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based programs, and community partnerships, the number of falls among seniors can be reduced substantially.
Physical therapy can help prevent a fall as well as help recovery after experiencing a fall. We have many tools in our toolbelt to help! One of them (Otago) is outlined below. However, we have many other programs and techniques that can help!
The Otago Program
The Otago Exercise Program (OEP) is a series of 17 strength and balance exercises delivered by a Physical Therapist. The program reduces falls between 35% and 40%. This evidence-based program calls for Physical Therapists to assess and progress older adults through an 8-week clinical phase and then the older adult is transitioned to a self-management phase for 4 – 10 months. During this time, the adult is supported by their therapist with phone calls, check-ins, and whatever else is needed. Currently, the Otago Exercise Fall Prevention program is offered in Shelby Township, however, we are adding more certified therapists at other locations soon.
REALITY ABOUT FALLS
Falls can diminish your ability to lead an active and independent life not to mention cause a lot of pain! About one-third of people over the age of 65 and almost half of people over the age of 80 will fall at least once this year. There usually are several reasons for a fall and often they are complex, other times it’s something simple. Every case is different, but we’d be glad to review yours!