Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1/3rd of Americans over 65 will fall this year. The risk from being seriously injured due to a fall increases with age, potentially leading to fractures, early hospitalization, traumatic brain injury, and death. However, falling is not an inevitable consequence of age! Falls are a extremely preventable, saving individuals from enormous personal hardship and economic burden.
Physical therapists play a key role in falls prevention. Deficits in balance are extremely individual to the person and can be caused by poor vision, inner ear pathology, muscular dysfunction, and/or proprioceptive issues. A physical therapist will implement specific, individualized interventions to address a patient's unique deficits. In addition to preventing falls, this can lead to a greater level of safety, independence, and ability to age in one's own home.