Fall-related injuries are a major threat to the independence of older adults. Falls are the main reason older adults lose their independence. Research has identified many factors that contribute to falling, some of those are modifiable.
Most falls are caused by the interaction of multiple risk factors. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling. Health care providers and balance and mobility specialists can lower a person' s risk by reducing or minimizing that individual's risk factors. To determine if an older adult is at increased fall risk we can perform a Fall Risk Screen. This screening tool can evaluate gait, strength and balance. The 4-Stage Balance Test is one of the assessments that we routinely perform to determine if someone is at an increased risk for falling and injury.
Once we determine that someone is at increased fall risk, a comprehensive balance and mobility assessment can be performed which determines what causes someone to lose balance or feel unstable, which in turn allows us to develop an exercise program that specifically addresses the balance impairment.
Take steps to prevent yourself from falling sooner rather than later can help you stay independent.