Who is at risk of falling?

The reasons for most falls are normally quite complex and involve more than one factor. The more risk factors you have , the greater your risk of falling.

The highest risk factors for falling are:
  • A previous fall
  • Balance problems
  • Leg muscle weakness
  • Poor vision
  • Taking more than 4 medications or psychoactive medication (such as sedatives or antidepressants)
  • Difficulty with walking
Other risk factors are:

The reasons for most falls are normally quite complex and involve more than one factor. The more risk factors you have , the greater your risk of falling.

The highest risk factors for falling are:
  • A previous fall
  • Balance problems
  • Leg muscle weakness
  • Poor vision
  • Taking more than 4 medications or psychoactive medication (such as sedatives or antidepressants)
  • Difficulty with walking
Other risk factors include:
  • Being 80 years old or older
  • Difficulty with balance 
  • Vision problems (cataracts, macular degeneration, wearing bifocals)
  • Medical conditions that limit your ability to walk, such as Parkinsons disease, stroke, or diabetes
  • Conditions that cause confusion, such as dementia and Alzheimers disease
  • Depression
  • Using a cane or other walking device
  • Home hazards (throw rugs, pets underfoot)
  • Low blood pressure

 

If you are worried about falling or if you recently had a fall, your Physiotherapist can conduct a brief check ("screening") of your fall risk. If the screening shows that you are at risk, the therapist will perform a thorough evaluation, including:
  • A review of your medical history
  • A balance and muscle strength test
  • Your walking ability
  • A review of your medications
  • A home safety assessment
  • Feet and footwear assessment
  • Assessment of any nervous system disorders, such as stroke or Parkinson disease
Based on the evaluation results, your Physio will design an exercise and training program to improve your balance and strength. A recent systematic review of many published studies found that exercise-based programs in the home or in group settings are effective in preventing falls. These programs are especially effective when balance exercises are performed in a standing position without using much arm support. This is exactly what our Physiotherapist Sophie works on in our Falls Prevention and Exercise Classes.
 
Please call us on 9968 3424 for more information