(Fall Prevention)

    Falling is the second leading cause of injury and deaths in older adults. According to the World Health Organization, falls are the second leading cause of accidental injury deaths globally, with most occurring among adults 65 years and older. This is not the only group of people that could be affected but it is the most common withinin this age range. Falling could lead to:

  • visits to the emergency room

  • hip fractures or other broken bones

  • admission into a nursing home

  • traumatic brain injury

  • death

    Those who fall and recover, often develop a fear of it recurring, and as a result, start to limit their physical activity. Unfortunately, the less they are active, the further it increases their risk of falling. This raises the importance of exercise, especially as they age, since it is known to reduce that risk. Balance, strength and functional are a few ways in which physical activity can be used to maintain posture, correct movement, develop coordination, and prevent fall-induced injury.

    Proprioception is the ability we have to know where we are in space.  It affects your feeling of foot placement in movement and on the ground and the contraction of your muscles to stabilize the joints and maintain posture. As we age, this ability decreases. If our proprioceptive abilities do not work as well as they did before, it may cause us to lose our perception of depth, which can cause us to misjudge our steps, leading to slips and falls. Our vision, sense of touch and proprioception all contribute to our balance. For an elder, falling one time can make living independently difficult and lead to a downward spiral of health and many complications later on.

    But there is hope! Training ankle and knee proprioception as well as postural stability can contribute to improved joint stability and can lower the likelihood of older adults slipping and falling, as well as promote a better ability to recover after a fall.