As therapists working in the home, one of our biggest areas of treatment revolves around balance and fall prevention. Falls are the number one reason for injury and emergency room admittance amongst seniors. In fact, of the 355,163 seniors over the age of 65 living in San Diego County, one in three, or approximately 118,000 will have a fall this year. Over the age of 80, the numbers are closer to 50% having a fall this year. Those who do fall once have 75% chance of falling again within six months. As you can see, balance and fall prevention is of paramount importance to us as therapy providers in San Diego.
There are many reasons why falls occur, but typically they mainly boil down to changes the body undergoes as one ages. Medical conditions like stroke, neuropathy, arthritis, visual problems, and others contribute to the risk of falling. Muscle atrophy and weakness play a major part in falls and loss of balance. If fact, by the age of 70, without any exercise, one may lose 50-70% of his or her strength from when they were 30. All these changes plus others can lead to a poor walking pattern and loss of balance, which puts one at an immediate high risk of falling.
We feel that it is of the utmost importance to make safety the top priority for our patients, in order to prevent the onset or re-occurence of falls. We provide as part of our evaluations, a home safety evaluation to make sure the home environment is fall-proof. We will also look in detail at one's strength and balance deficits, and take into consideration one's medical history and current limitations.
The good news is that we have helped many, many seniors improve their balance, strength, and walking abilities, so they have the confidence to get up and go and not feel limited or afraid of falling. Lots of research has indicated improvements with balance and strength, even well into the 90's, when undergoing an active exercise program. We are experts in this area and with our individualized approach and one-on-one care, our patients receive a very high quality of therapy.
Finally, our therapists use many tools and exercises for balance, gait, and strength training. One of these is our state of the art Biodex BioSway Balance platform, which is located at one of our on-site therapy clinics, Fairwinds Ivey Ranch in Oceanside. We also bring Airex balance pads, therabands, and other equipment to the home to help our patients move forward with their goals. We look forward to working with many of you, please feel free to fill out an expression of interest and we will be in touch.