4 things you need to know about your Falls Prevention Program

In our ever-growing elderly population in Australia, falls are a major health problem.

The impact of a fall can be devastating and debilitating for an elderly person. Taking a fall can potentially cause major injury as well as a devastating loss of confidence.

Aged Care Physios play a leading role in falls prevention management, and should serve as part of a multi-disciplinary approach to reducing falls.

Refreshed guidelines for physiotherapists
Due to advances in technology and professional practice, the existing guidelines for aged care physiotherapy management of people at risk of falling have warranted some revision.

The guidelines released in August 2012, by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy are clearly defined, and recommend that aged care physios focus on four key strategies

1.     Preventing falls from occurring

  • Exercise programs should be delivered as part of a single intervention or multi-factorial program.
  • They should focus on high dose (>50 hours over 6 months) and have a high balance challenge component.

2.     Improving the ability of older people to withstand threats to their balance

  • Use appropriate reliable and valid outcome measures
  • Exercise programs should include components for gait, balance, coordination, and function. They should include strength training, three dimensional activities and contain dynamic elements.

 3.     Preventing the consequences of the long lie

  • The consequences of a long lie on the floor (>1 hour) are serious for those unable to get up from a fall. These include pressure sores, hypothermia and dehydration.
  • Seniors should be assessed for their ability to get up from the floor – if possible they should be taught how to do it!
  • Ensure that seniors have a strategy to seek help if they fall.

 4.     Optimising the confidence and reduce the fear of falling

  • Seniors should be assessed for fall-related psychological factors through the use of appropriate outcome measures.
  • Exercise programs, hip protectors and multi-factorial falls prevention programs can help to improve confidence and reduce the fear of falling in seniors.

Revita’s Aged Care Physios say ‘No More Falls’
Revita’s No More Falls is delivered by our aged care physios and designed to improve the safety of residents and staff in aged care facilities and in the community.

Revita’s procedures are in line with the above-mentioned guidelines and are designed to optimise resident’s function, leaving them confident and happy!

For more information regarding Revita’s approach to falls prevention, feel free to contact me on 0412 966 565 or j.kestenberg@revita.com.au

Jeremy Kestenberg
Physiotherapist and Director of Revita, APAM


Brooke

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