“More than one-third of adults aged 65 and older fall annually…negatively impacting function and independence.” – Journal of Trauma – Injury Infection and Critical Care
Falls are a major health problem for older adults, largely due to problems with one of the three systems in our bodies that affect our balance: vision, vestibular and somatosensory. The vestibular system includes the central system and the inner ear, connected by the vestibular nerve. The somatosensory system involves how the feet feel the ground – the pressure of the feet on the floor and the way the ankle is positioned.
A large majority of adults have several risk factors for falling, which include:
- History of fall within the last year
- Gait or balance problems
- Taking four or more medications
- Ambulation with an assistive device
Recent studies by the National Institute of Health have proven that falls can be prevented by implementing proper assessment protocols followed by an individualized multi-component preventive program. ProHealth Partners has developed a Gait and Balance Assessment Program that uses multi-disciplinary approaches utilizing physical therapists, occupational therapists, and nurses to assess a patient for the four main risk factors for falling.
Our assessment utilizes the latest in technology including the Biodex BioSway to identify the system of balance most affected and create an individualized treatment plan to attain the best possible outcome. This unique evaluation process is the only one of its kind and has proven to be the most advanced in the field. Treatment focuses on correcting:
- vestibular disorders
- joint and muscle weakness
- vision and sensation problems
- deterioration of the body from degenerative diseases
In honor of May being National Older Americans Month, ProHealth Partners will be participating in several health fairs and other social events to help older adults identify their risk of falling and other balance issues. Follow us on Facebook for more information.