What makes physical therapy a vital part of what health care services in Riverside, California seniors receive?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists these disturbing falling stats among the country’s older adults:
- 1 in 4 older Americans (aged 65 years old and up) get involved in falling incidents annually.
- A senior ends up in a hospital’s emergency room due to falling every 11 seconds. And one dies due to fall-related incidents every 19 seconds.
- Falling is the major cause of fatal injuries in American seniors. It’s also the most common cause of non-trauma-connected hospital admissions in the same age group.
In a nutshell, falling is a major curse in every senior adult’s life.
What Makes Seniors Vulnerable to Falling?
- They suffer from mobility difficulties and lose their sense of balance due to:
- Bodily changes brought about by aging (weakening bones and lesser muscle mass)
- Failing organs (dimming vision, for example)
- Chronic health conditions (such as osteoporosis, arthritis and Parkinson’s Disease)
- Suffering from a stroke or recovering from a surgery
- Cognitive acuity problems because of memory loss (senility, dementia and Alzheimer’s). These conditions can also bring about disorientation, another contributory factor to falling.
- Medications prescribed for certain illnesses – particularly if they’re taking two or more – can bring about balancing difficulties making them prone to falling and tripping.
Even non-fatal and non-injurious falls leave an impact that negatively affects a senior’s way of living. Many older adults limit their activities for fear of falling making them susceptible to social isolation, depression, making them feel a sense of helplessness and physical decline.
Putting Physical Therapy in the Picture
While the majority (90% according to statistics) of older Americans wants to age independently at home, many are finding it impossible due to circumstances like falling. But physical therapy can change that altogether.
Availing of physical therapy in California can bring about these main benefits:
- Post-stroke patients regaining mobility through PT exercises and massages.
- A physical therapist can help formulate a fall prevention plan for seniors by assessing their individual situations, educating them on their strengths and weaknesses and improving their balance and agility by putting them in personalized exercise routines.
- PT reduces infection and physical decline risks in homebound and bedbound seniors.
- It also helps manage and even treat chronic pain the non-medication, non-surgical way.
- It allows older adults with mobility limitations to have an active healthier lifestyle.