Prevention of Falling in the Over 65's

Approximately 1 in 3 people over 65 years of age fall each year. This rate increases with advancing age due to balance impairments and loss of muscle mass associated with inactivity or reduced levels of activity. A common result of falling is a hip fracture, which can not only affect future mobility and independence but more seriously, The Journal of American Geriatric Society report 1 in 5 people die within a year of suffering from a hip fracture.  Reducing the incidence of falls is therefore important in order to reduce the likelihood of fractures in this population who have a high incidence of osteoporosis. 

 
Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose minerals, such as calcium, more quickly than the body can replace them, leading to a loss of bone thickness. Osteoporosis is a major health problem leading to numerous

Approximately 1 in 3 people over 65 years of age fall each year. This rate increases with advancing age due to balance impairments and loss of muscle mass associated with inactivity or reduced levels of activity. A common result of falling is a hip fracture, which can not only affect future mobility and independence but more seriously, The Journal of American Geriatric Society report 1 in 5 people die within a year of suffering from a hip fracture.  Reducing the incidence of falls is therefore important in order to reduce the likelihood of fractures in this population who have a high incidence of osteoporosis. 

 
Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose minerals, such as calcium, more quickly than the body can replace them, leading to a loss of bone thickness. Osteoporosis is a major health problem leading to numerous complications including bone fractures. Of particular concern is the high morbidity and mortality associated with fractures to the neck, spine, wrist and hip in patients with osteoporosis. Fractures account for over 77% of principal diagnoses resulting in hospitalisation following a fall (Cripps and Jarman, 2001). Over half of these fractures are hip or leg fractures. 
 
The most important means of preventing osteoporosis is the attainment of a high peak bone mass- especially for females who are at a higher risk of osteoporosis during and following menopause. Using gravity and body weight to stimulate bone growth and increase bone density through resistance exercise can reduce the rate that bone is lost during the early stages of osteoporosis. 
 
Evidence suggests that moderate daily physical exercise can not only delay osteoporosis but substantially reduce the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. It can also assist in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing obesity and minimising symptoms of anxiety, depression and arthritis (Osteoporosis Australia 2007). 
 
SquareOne Physiotherapy offers a Falls Prevention and general strengthening class with the aim of promoting the importance of and maintaining activity levels in the ageing population.  Our program focuses on both upper and lower body strength and flexibility, balance and proprioceptive training as well as education on how to recover from a fall and prevent future falls. The class is aimed at those over 65 years “young” and we cater for all levels of mobility (even those who need to sit).
 
If you think this class sounds appropriate for you or someone you know please feel free to pick up a brochure, call our friendly reception team on 9968 3424 or email info@squareonephysio.com.au for further information. Classes are run on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
 
Come along and meet Sophie….during February and March we are offering the first class free of charge as a trial.