Falls are a major issue for seniors and a primary cause of the loss of independence for many. In the United States, about a third of older adults who live at home, and about half of the people living in nursing homes fall at least once a year. Many of the common causes of falls can be prevented. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Geriatric Society recommend yearly fall assessment screening for all adults 65 years of age and older.
- Falls are a leading disrupter to aging in place and independent living for seniors
- Physical therapy reduces trips to urgent care, costly specialist consultations, unnecessary imaging, treatments and prescription medications (including opioids)
- Virtual physical therapy provides therapeutic benefits of a customized fall prevention program in the comfort of your own home
VPT’s Fall Prevention Program is based on the CDC’s STEADI program. A questionnaire to identify risk factors including medications, home hazards, visual impairment, cognition, feet/footwear issues, Vitamin D deficiency, and comorbidities is also reviewed with our trained therapists and incorporated into the program.
Individuals with a “low fall risk” are provided with education materials on fall prevention, an Otago exercise program, and advised to have a yearly follow-up. Those individuals with “moderate” and “high fall risk” are recommended for further evaluation to determine the root cause of the balance deficit. This includes a comprehensive vestibular assessment, gait analysis, strength, range of motion, neurological screen, and specific balance tests including Sit to Stand, Single Leg Stance, and Timed Up and Go. Those with a “high fall risk” require physical assistance to complete the assessment.
The underlying physical condition determines the individualized treatment plan which may include vestibular, neurological, strength, and/or specific balance exercises. Each exercise program is provided with a video demonstration. The focus of the treatment plan is to educate and empower to remove any risks, improve any deficits and reduce their overall risk for a fall. Follow-up appointments are based on individual patient’s needs.