How to Help Others Prevent Injuries from Falls with Physical Therapy
Falls are one of the most devastating injuries that persons over 65 years can suffer. They can be severe enough to break bones and cause other catastrophic injuries that completely alter the sufferer’s physical mobility and quality of life. Because of the overwhelming consequences of falls, the focus of therapy should be on prevention, not recovery. Keep reading to find out how physical therapy can help to prevent falls and how TheraEx Staffing can help you find the best physical therapy jobs available.
Fall prevention can be enacted in various different ways, but with physical therapy, the main focus should be on identifying and treating the multitude of physical issues that can cause a fall. One of the biggest causes of falls is a lack of leg strength, so measuring one’s leg strength should be one of the first steps in fall prevention.
If the patient’s leg strength is not optimal, the physical therapist can design an exercise program to help increase strength and stamina, lessening the likelihood of falls. These exercises can include both strength training as well as aerobic training—such as walking in a pool.
Balance and Stability
In addition to leg strength, balance and stability are important in preventing falls. A physical therapist looking to help those prevent falls should have the patient walk in front of them and observe how quickly they are able to walk, as well as how well they maintain their balance. If the patient moves very slowly or seems to be unstable on their feet—not able to stay centered—then they are at risk for a fall.
To improve these skills, the physical therapist can offer the person many different choices that are both fun and effective. One of the best ways to help someone improve their stability and prevent falls is to have them practice dance steps. Dancing is an exciting and efficient way to improve balance and help prevent against falls.
Another ideal option to improve balance and prevent falls is to have the patient walk through an obstacle course. Obstacle courses will make them more surefooted while navigating the everyday obstacles that are likely to cause falls in those who are less prepared.
How Those with Physical Therapy Jobs Can Help
Physical therapists, as well as occupational therapists, can be a valuable resource to people looking to learn how to prevent falls. A physical therapist is focused on helping patients with assessing and preparing to prevent falls from a physical standpoint. An occupational therapist might look to help their clients prevent falls by examining their home and helping them identify potential fall hazards and how to address them. Once a plan of action has been designed by the therapist, the patient can then implement it in their home in order to stay safe throughout their daily activities.
One of the most effective tools in maintaining the independence and quality of life for those 65 and older is the prevention of falls. Preventing falls can be as simple as optimizing a home’s layout to reduce obstacles or performing basic strength exercises to improve walking and standing confidence. If you’re interested in physical therapy jobs centered around helping patients prevent falls, contact us today to help you with your job search.