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Falls Prevention

Written by Taylor Moore, Exercise Physiologist at Sylvania. Article from February 2019

FALLS PREVENTION

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Falls can become a serious health concern for those at risk, but how do we identify who is at risk of falling? There are many factors that contribute to a fall, these risks factors include:

Demographic/Psychosocial
• Advanced age
• History of falls
• Limitations with everyday tasks

Sensory
• Poor vision
• Muscle weakness
• Poor reaction time

Medical
• Stroke
• Parkinson’s Disease
• Taking 4 or medications or psychotropic medication
• Impaired cognition

Mobility
• Impaired gait or mobility

As you can see, risks can be categorised as either demographic, psychosocial, medical, sensory or mobility factors.

Research suggests that as we age we use more cognitive resources to control our posture. On top of this, there is a progressive loss of muscle mass occurring from around our mid 20’s as well as increases in reaction time as we age.

Intervention to reduce the risk of falls in people with one or more risk factors is supported by research. Current literature supports balance based intervention to reduce the risk of falls, the effectiveness of these programs are maximized in interventions that include weight-bearing balance components, are specific to activities of daily living and involve the movement of the centre of gravity over the base of support.
Visiting an Accredited Exercise Physiologist at Optimum Health solutions means your risk of falls can be thoroughly assessed and a balance based exercise program can be prescribed in a safe environment to decrease the risk of falls in these populations along with increase the confidence of participants mobilising in daily life.

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