The Hazards of the Fall

November 29, 2016

The facts about falls among seniors are harrowing.  Each year, 2.8 million older adults are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries. One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head trauma. Falls are not a normal part of aging! Balance can be improved relatively easily to greatly reduce your risk of falls and serious injury.

Elderly Senior Home Care Woman Fall

A recent, research-based intervention for fall prevention is the OTAGO balance program. This program of strength and balance exercises, developed at the University of Otago in New Zealand, has been shown to reduce falls between 35-40% for frail older adults. Research at UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine has shown significant balance improvement in as little as 8 weeks!

If you are concerned about fall risk, ask yourself three simple questions:

  1. Have you fallen in the last year?
  2. Are you fearful of falling?
  3. Do you find yourself holding onto furniture or walls when you walk?

If you answered yes to any of these, it is important to take action to avoid falls. The OTAGO program can be provided at home by a physical therapist. You can improve your balance and the best time to start is before you’ve had a fall!

This article was provided courtesy of Joshua Cohen of Mobile Rehab NC. Mobile Rehab’s licensed physical therapists provide the OTAGO balance program as well as other Medicare-covered PT services in the convenience of your home. To learn more, visit or call (919) 636-2423.

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