By Bill Case, PT – Author of “Stand Tall – Don’t Fall”
It is reported by the NCOA (National Council on Aging) that 1 out of 4 adults over 65 years of age will fall this year. Every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the emergency room for injuries related to a fall and every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall. Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.
As a physical therapist for 35 years, I have seen thousands of older adults with orthopedic, balance, strength, flexibility, and posture issues. Initially, I started off my career at my Dad’s side, who is also a physical therapist, when I was 10 years old. I had the opportunity to learn the importance of one-on-one personal interaction and experiencing the value of listening. My passion over the years has been to help people and providing empathy and compassion. I am driven to assist the older adult concerns using knowledge, education and a specific purpose directing their care.
My recent book, Stand Tall, Don’t Fall, an Amazon #1 best seller, discusses the older adult fall risk factors and how to improve strength, balance, flexibility and posture. Many older adults are sedentary, have poor posture and are in poor physical conditioning. Falling is not an inevitable part of the aging process. Falling is preventable and education is the key. I believe that the fountain of youth for older adults is posture, because an upright posture aligns the body and releases more energy.
Practicing a daily routine of strength, balance, flexibility and postural exercises, as well as, postural awareness has proven to assist in the older adult recovery following a fall and in the prevention. The most common reason an older adult falls is from a trip or stumble. Daily tip suggestions are provided in my book for balance and posture reminders. For example, pick up your knees when you walk, not only helps upright standing, but assists the feet off the ground when walking to prevent a trip.
Older adult falls affects the entire family mentally, psychologically and financially. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states the average hospital cost for a fall injury is $30,000 and are among the 20 most expensive medical conditions. Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall. Family involvement is paramount in prevention, especially after the early signs of failing posture, conditioning and a sedentary lifestyle.
I believe that many falls are preventable because so many patients share with me that they wish they could have had this information earlier. The data is behind the cause and affects of falls, as well as, the prevention. My goal is to provide a common sense approach to a devastating problem affecting older adults. The good news is that falls are preventable and the key to prevention is education.
For more information visit Bill Case, PT at this site: www.casept.com