Trudy Beck, therapist, works with a patient to improve balance.
About one in three adults over 65 will fall at least once this year, many sustaining serious injuries. Falls can be dangerous and can reduce the ability of seniors to lead active lifestyles. Wake Forest Baptist Health Lexington Medical Center has developed a specialized program to manage the risk of falls through the Rehabilitation Services Department, directed by Monette Frye.
Customized Plan Focused On Prevention
"Our goal is to help prevent falls with evaluation and development of individualized treatment plans including exercises to improve strength, mobility and balance," Monette explains. A person's customized plan may include strengthening, gait training, balance retraining and specific exercises that can be performed at home, says Trudy Beck, one of several physical therapists who treat patients in our new rehabilitation services facility. "We can help patients identify hazards in their homes and increase awareness of them."
Seniors often have a fear of falling; that fear can lead to inactivity, which then leads to a downward spiral and decreases the quality of life. With therapy, we can reduce the fear and actually improve the patient's quality of life. The most important action seniors can take to reduce falls is to maintain physical activity. Any fitness activity helps improve balance and movement.
Personalized Falls Risk Assessment
Initially, the therapist checks a patient's balance, gait and strength and uses standardized tests to help determine their fall risk. Then, a program is developed which includes measuring the progress in reducing risk. After sessions in the rehabilitation services facility, patients are expected to continue a home exercise program.
The program has worked for Carolyn Spivey. The retired school teacher from Reeds fell last year and underwent two surgeries. "After the surgeries, I was terrified of falling again," said Spivey. "I came to rehabilitation services in a wheelchair in January, and now I am walking with a cane. My self-confidence is back, the muscles in my leg are stronger, and I have more stamina."
For more information on a risk management program for falls, please call us at 336-238-4776.
Most insurance plans cover our rehabilitation services.