Falls Prevention Programmes
Dr. Susan Coote, physiotherapist at Mid West Physiotherapy, Limerick, specialises in delivering tailored falls prevention programmes to older people.
About Falls Prevention Programmes
Falls prevention programmes can help anyone with decreased mobility or balance. Physiotherapists are experts at evidence-based falls prevention. The HSE recommends people who have fallen be assessed for falls prevention. Two-thirds of Irish people who have had a fall, have another fall within six months.
The aim of a falls prevention programme is to reduce the risk of falling by increasing a person’s strength, balance, awareness, independence, and confidence.
How Can We Help?
The first step in a falls prevention programme is to identify why and how someone fell, or why they feel like they may fall. A physiotherapist will work with you or your loved one to set realistic goals around what you want to get out of physiotherapy. A falls prevention programme can help someone regain independence, confidence and mobility.
Benefits of Physiotherapy for Falls
There are a number of things physiotherapy can help with. Research-based falls prevention programmes take into account a person’s strength, balance, endurance. Research recommends strength training and balance training, which has been shown to reduce the risk of falls.
What to Expect
At the initial appointment, a physiotherapist will ask a number of questions including your medical history, previous falls and how they happened, what your eyesight is like, and how you feel about your own walking. You may be asked to walk or balance for assessment. A physiotherapist may also test the strength in your legs. You will also be given a safe home exercise programme to complete.