Falls are a real threat to the health of seniors. Indeed, they can lead to serious injuries and complications that can undermine the autonomy of these people. The Clinique GO™ team has therefore prepared this article, in which we explain how our various health professionals can help for fall prevention in seniors.
A serious risk to the health of seniors
Anyone can fall at any time, but why are seniors more likely to suffer from their consequences? Well, you have to be aware that for many of them, it is not necessarily falls as such that affect their physical and psychological health, but rather the fear of suffering them…
First of all, it is important to know that natural ageing is accompanied by a considerable loss of muscle mass, which begins at the age of 30 and increases considerably from the age of 50. This muscle loss can be prevented through regular physical activity and a healthy diet. However, the loss of muscle mass cannot be completely reversed, and its effects are felt in the majority of people as they age: decreased muscle strength and endurance, loss of balance, etc. Of course, this has an impact on a person’s ability to move safely.
For example, many seniors avoid going out and isolate themselves socially because they are afraid of falling and being injured when they see that their physical abilities have diminished. However, social isolation and the consequences that result from it are not without health consequences, hence the importance of consulting the right professionals to know how to prevent falls.
Occupational therapy & fall prevention
Clinique GO™’s mobile team includes occupational therapists whose expertise is to enable their clients to maintain their autonomy and continue to carry out activities that are important to them. In the context of fall prevention, occupational therapists can offer very concrete advice on how to adapt the home. To do this, an occupational therapist travels to the client’s home and becomes familiar with their daily habits, activities and risks in their home. They can then propose a specific action plan.
Also, since the risk of falling is increased in winter because of the ice that makes outdoor travel more difficult, an occupational therapist can also offer adaptations to the outdoor environment of a home.
Kinesiology: for the maintenance of physical condition
Preventing falls is all about maintaining good physical fitness, including muscle strength and balance. In this sense, kinesiologists have the expertise to allow their clients to continue to practice physical activities, despite a condition that causes limitations (in this case aging). By observing a client’s environment, the facilities to which he has access and questioning him about his interests in physical activity, the kinesiologist can offer a personalized program of activities. This takes into account the client’s limitations and aims to enable him to compensate for them by improving certain aspects of his physical condition.
In the case of fall prevention, the kinesiologist will be able to focus on maintaining the client’s muscle capacity and balance.
Physiotherapy: to prevent and treat injuries
Some physiotherapists who are part of Clinique GO™’s large mobile team also have expertise in fall prevention. By travelling to a client’s home, the physiotherapist can identify factors that could be responsible for a fall. In addition, the professional can assess the person’s physical condition and the factors, both physical and psychological, that have an impact on the personal risk that their client has of falling (decreased vision, taking certain medications, specific physical limitations, etc.). In this case, the physiotherapist intervenes as a preventive measure.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that a physiotherapist can also provide valuable assistance following a fall, to allow a client to recover from an injury, through a well-adapted exercise program. In addition, this program can help to overcome the physical limitations that were responsible for the fall, such as poor balance.
Whether it is for yourself or for a loved one for whom you are worried, do not hesitate to contact the Clinique GO™ team to find out which of our services is indicated in your specific situation. We will be happy to refer you to the right health professional to promote your independence and health.