More than one in four people aged 65 or over have at least one fall per year. In NSW alone falls lead to approximately 27,000 hospitalisations and at least 400 deaths in people aged 65 years and older each year.
A fall can lead to a fear of falling & restrictions in activity and social isolation. A serious fall can cause serious injury and can lead to forced changes in living arrangements.
There are many risk factors that can contribute to your risk of falling. Some of the physical attributes that can contribute include muscle weakness, poor reaction time and impaired balance.
Exercise and regular physical activities provides a range of health benefits to older Australians. Exercise is one strategy that has been found to be effective in helping to reduce your risk of falls. Exercise can help to improve balance, increase muscle strength and help to maintain healthy bones. In frail older people, even small gains in physical activity performance might have a significant effect on their functional performance and quality of life.
The Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing recommends that older people should do at least 30minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week. Older people should do a range of physical activities that incorporate fitness, strength, balance and flexibility.
There are many websites that you can visit for more information on exercise for falls prevention. Visit the NSW Active and Healthy Website or the NSW Falls Prevention Network Website to view some examples of simple home based exercises or to find a falls prevention exercise class near you. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our Physiotherapists, who can assess you and tailor an exercise program to your specific needs. Contact Lifestyle and Sports Physiotherapy on (02) 4647 3373.