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  • Writer's pictureMark Macdonald

Falls - The scary bits and how to help reduce the risk

Falls are Australia’s leading cause of injury hospitalisation and death, representing 43% of injury hospitalisations and 42% of injury deaths.

Falls requiring hospitalisation occur more frequently in adults with increasing age, and are most likely to occur in the home. Over half of injury hospitalisations from falls involve a fracture.


Australia wide, falls resulted in


Falls often result in a fracture, particularly involving the hip or arm as well as serious head and neck injures. This often leads to permanent disability, loss of independence and often having to be place in a nursing home long term.




What can be done to prevent falls?


We first have to know why older people, especially, have an increased risk of having a fall.


The risk factors considered to have a high association with falls, which are also modifiable, include:

  • the fear of falling

  • limitations in mobility and undertaking the activities of daily living

  • impaired walking patterns (gait)

  • impaired balance

  • visual impairment

  • reduced muscle strength (particularly in lower limbs)

  • poor reaction times

  • use of multiple medications specifically benzodiazepines, antidepressants, anti-psychotics and psychoactive medications

There are also hazards that can be identified in and around the home that can contribute to an increased falls risk.


The more risk factors identified in a particular person, the greater their risk of falling.


Falls prevention is therefore about reducing these risk factors. Our physiotherapists can help you or your family member to improve their mobility, improve their walking pattern, improve balance and reaction times and increase muscle strength.


Our falls preventions program starts with a full assessment to evaluate current functional abilities, muscle strength and gait pattern. We will then work with you to design an exercise program to help improve the factors that increase your risk of having a fall. We will also collaborate with other health professionals involved in your care to make sure all risk factors are identified and steps are being taken to improve them.


Our physios will also come out to your home and undertake an assessment of risk factors in your home to further help reduce the risk of having a fall. It might be a piece of furniture in the way that needs to be moved or an awkward step out the back door that doesn't have trail to hold on to - getting these made safer for you reduces your risk of having a fall.


When should I start?


The best time to start any exercise program is today and that is no different to a falls prevention program. The sooner you start the quicker your risk of having a fall is reduced. Not only does it mean less chance of being hospitalised because of a fall but you will also be able to do the activities you love for longer.





Give us a call on 9838 8449 or book online at www.winstonhillsphysio.com.au to book your Falls Assessment with us today.

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