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Falls can have very serious consequences as we age. Each year, more than 25 percent of adults 65 or older have a fall, and 3 million are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The risk of falling in older adults is usually related to a combination of factors, including:

  • Balance and/or walking problems. Balance can be affected by vision changes, vestibular problems and altered sensation in the feet
  • The use of multiple medications. Studies indicate that when individuals take five or more medicines, the risk of falls increases
  • Home hazards (including dim lighting and trip hazards)
  • Positional low blood pressure (such as orthostatic hypotension, when blood pressure drops upon standing
    Feet and footwear issues
  • Falls often occur in the bathroom when sitting or standing from the toilet or shower, or at night in a dark bedroom when getting up quickly and tripping on the way to the bathroom.

There are ways you can reduce your risk of having a fall, including making simple changes to your home and doing exercises to improve your strength and balance

If you have fallen in the past, making changes to reduce your chances of having a fall can also help you overcome any fear of falling.

If you are experiencing problems with falling, it could be related to your strength and balance, or possibly a dysfunction with your vestibular system.

Here at Hallamshire Physiotherapy Clinic, our experienced clinicians will take their time when assessing you to determine the potential causes for your falls and look to direct the most appropriate treatment to managed your problems. Quite often, there will be more than one cause for your falls and therefore our holistic approach will help to address all of these.


Strength and balance training

Doing regular strength exercises and balance exercises can improve your strength and balance and reduce your risk of having a fall.

This can take the form of simple activities such as walking and dancing, or specialist training programmes.

It’s important that a strength and balance training programme is tailored to the individual and monitored by an appropriately trained professional. We offer 1 to 1 support to ensure that our assessment and management is tailored to you as an individual.

Our partners at Community Wellness Services also offer a weekly strength and balance class directed at preventing falls in older adults, at our gym space on Ecclesall Road. Visit Community Wellness Services to find out more.


Physical activity guidelines for older adults


Older adults should do some type of physical activity every day. It can help to improve your health and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke

The UK guidelines state that adults over 65 should:

  • Aim to be physically active every day, even if it’s just light activity
  • Do activities that improve strength, balance and flexibility on at least 2 days a week
  • Do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity if you are already active, or a combination of both
  • Reduce time spent sitting or lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity.

If you’ve fallen or are worried about falling, doing exercises to improve your strength, balance and flexibility will help make you stronger and feel more confident on your feet.

Read more about physical activity guidelines for older adults here

Call us on 0114 267 1223 to see how we may be able to help.

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