How PT Can Help the Aging Population Minimize Their Risk For Falling

Each year, approximately one-third of people over the age of 65 will fall at least once, and the likelihood of another fall increases with age. Falls can create debilitating injuries such as hip fractures or head trauma, and they can also lead to emotional harm including depression. Injuries related to a fall often create reduced activity due to the fear of falling again.

Although the incidence of falls increases with age, there are also other factors that contribute to potential falls. These risks include: the improper use of an assistive device, lack of an assistive device (such as a cane), multiple medications, unsecure throw rugs, or cluttered areas that make it more difficult to navigate the space. Limitations in strength, balance, vision, and sensation can also significantly contribute to fall risks.

Physical therapists can help reduce the risk for falling by performing a thorough examination that identifies individual risk factors. Once these factors are assessed, the physical therapist can create a safe personalized exercise program. Physical therapists focus on education, strength, balance, and safety, and can assist in referrals to other necessary care providers if warranted. Physical therapists are the primary experts on the evaluation and treatment of movement to help restore quality of life.

For more information on risk for falls, please contact us at