How to Prevent Falls - the leading cause of injury death in older Americans September 11, 2019 09:32

 Fall Prevention  Almost everyone has experienced the occasional fall. Embarrassment and skinned knees are usually all that's at stake for young adults and children, but as we age, the consequences of falling become increasingly serious — sometimes fatal.

Preventative measures in the home are important, but maintaining and developing strength is the cornerstone of fall prevention.

"Weakness in an older person's lower extremities is associated with increased risk for falls," he said. "Exercise and increased physical activities are important in improving and maintaining your leg strength," says JC Garilao, a physical therapist who works with senior patients.

Many senior centers offer exercise programs and physical conditioning for individuals who need additional help improving their strength and functioning. A physical therapist is often helpful for those requiring one-on-one support or those who have significant limitations.

Physical therapists can evaluate factors that may increase one's fall risk, and provide recommendations and an appropriate treatment plan to prevent them from occurring, which could include recommending and training in the appropriate use of assistive devices such as canes and walkers.