Falls Prevention Program

While falls can occur at any age, senior citizens are particularly susceptible. Furthermore, people in this age group often struggle to recover from falls, which can then give way to complications such as decreased muscle mass, endurance, and range of motion. In severe cases, this may lead to long-term immobility, loss of independence, and diminished quality of life. However, many factors that put seniors at a heightened risk of falls—such as poor strength and balance, improper footwear, a hazardous living environment, and vision issues—are often preventable. For that reason, many seniors participate in a physical therapist-created falls prevention program designed to increase muscle strength, improve balance, and enhance coordination and agility. For example, a good sense of balance can help people react to changes in walking surfaces and unexpected obstacles in paths of travel. Some studies have also shown that improved muscle power can help prevent falls, as it allows people to move their limbs more quickly and forcefully in an attempt to regain balance. Additionally, for those senior who do sustain falls, increased muscle mass and strength can help minimize the negative consequences associated with falls, as muscle acts as a cushion and a protective barrier for surrounding joints.