Falls Prevention for the Elderly

April 5, 2022
Falls Prevention for the Elderly

Falls Prevention for the Elderly

Falling should not become a normal part of the aging process.

There are ways you can prevent falling as you age.

At Pip Jackson & Associates we focus on Otago Fall Prevention Program.


The Otago Falls Prevention Program

  • The program was created with the goal of preventing falls. It includes a walking plan as well as a series of leg muscle strengthening and balance retraining activities that escalate in difficulty.
  • During a series of consultations, the exercises are individually prescribed and gradually get more demanding.
  • We guide patients with the instructions for each exercise, guiding them through every step of the process.
  • It takes roughly 30 minutes to complete the exercises, three times a week. Patients are asked to exercise and go for a stroll at least twice a week.
  • This program was developed specifically for falls prevention for the elderly.


The Problem of Falls

Falls are common among those aged 65 and up, and they are the primary cause of injury among this age group.

Trauma, discomfort, reduced function, loss of confidence in carrying out daily tasks, loss of independence and autonomy, can all result from falls.

Around one-third of healthy persons aged 65 and older will fall at least once a year, and one major concern is that the number of falls and the severity of the consequences that ensue grow considerably with age. The majority of falls are caused by a combination of circumstances, although leg muscular weakness and poor balance are the most common causes.

The financial consequences of falls rise with the frequency of falls, and falls are an independent predictor of long-term care admission. As a result, if falls are decreased, healthcare costs for both acute and long-term care will be reduced.


Exercise to Prevent Falls

The New Zealand Falls Prevention Research Group developed and tested programs specifically aimed to prevent falls due to the frequency and devastating consequences of falls in older persons.

The Otago Exercise Programme, a muscular strengthening and balance retraining exercise, is one of the most beneficial interventions. The logic behind it is that muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and response time are the most easily adjusted risk factors for falls.

To establish stability, both leg muscle strength and balance must be maintained above the threshold level. Even in their 90s, people can improve their strength and balance enough to prevent falling.

Increased physical health, physical function, health-related quality of life, sleep, and a sense of wellbeing are all potential benefits of moderate physical activity.


A Summary of Research on the Benefits of the Otago Exercise Program

Overall the effect of the exercise programme was a 35%reduction in the number of falls and a 35% reduction in the number of fall-related injuries.

  • The program was more successful for people aged 80 and up than for those aged 65 to 79, especially in terms of preventing injurious falls. It’s possible that even minor gains in strength and balance in the older age group push them over the edge of stability. Furthermore, people over the age of 80 are more likely to fall, thus there are more falls to avoid.
  • The training benefited both those who had previously fallen and those who had not. Those who have a history of falling, on the other hand, fall more frequently, and there are more falls to avoid.
  • With a 35 percent reduction in falls, both men and women benefited equally.

The Otago Exercise Programme is a safe, effective, practical, eminently feasible and low-cost falls prevention strategy from which our older citizens can benefit right now.

Contact us for more informaton on falls prevention for the elderly.

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