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Falls Prevention Program

The risk of falling is a huge concern. Falls can lead to major injuries including fractures, sprains/strains, whiplash and concussion to name a few. Unfortunately, falls also continue to be the leading cause of death from an injury for people over the age of 65. It is also known that after falling a few times, the fear of falling can increase which can affect an individual’s quality of life. There may be stress and anxiety associated with being up and about and to avoid falling a person may just stop doing activity altogether. They may become further and further dependent on others for their self-care and household tasks. These problems become very cyclical and further add to decline and increased falls risk.

Why is a person Falling?

There may be several reasons for why a person is having falls, such as:

  • Muscle loss – the loss muscle mass; 0.5-1% loss per year after the age of 50
  • Arthritis – pain and stiffness in hips or knees that limit mobility and affect function
  • Health conditions – Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Stroke, etc. that may reduce lower limb strength and balance
  • Advanced Diabetes – decreased circulation or sensation in the legs and feet that contribute to poor balance
  • Medications – use of multiple medications for one or several conditions may contribute to dizziness and altered cognitive ability

How can Physiotherapy Help?

A Registered Physiotherapist can help with reducing an individual’s falls risk and therefore help then to regain their independence and quality of life. This type of rehabilitation can be a life saving treatment for patients who are at severe risk of falling.

What does Falls Prevention Treatment Involve?

  • Building strength,
  • Improving balance
  • Working on increasing endurance for activities

Frequently Asked Questions about starting a Falls Prevention Program at our clinic:

Do I need a doctor’s referral to see a physiotherapist in the community?

Registered Physiotherapists are considered to be primary care providers and therefore you Do Not need a doctor’s referral to receive Physiotherapy. However, if you have any extended health care (EHC) insurance that covers physiotherapy treatments, the insurance company may need a doctor’s referral to approve the coverage. If you do have any EHC, then it may be worthwhile to call the company and find out the details of the coverage prior to coming in for your initial appointment.

Will the treatments be covered by OHIP?

PhysioNow is a private physiotherapy clinic and therefore our services are not covered by OHIP. We do however accept extended health care insurance and can bill electronically on your behalf if your plan allows us to do so. If you do not have any EHC, we can offer a reduced fee to reduce some of the financial stress of receiving treatment.

How do I access OHIP funded Physiotherapy Care?

To receive physiotherapy services covered by OHIP, you have to attend an OHIP-licensed clinic and you have to meet certain eligibility criteria.

    • 65 years of age and older;
    • 19 years of age and younger; or
    • Recently discharged as an inpatient from a hospital and in need of physiotherapy services that are directly connected to the condition, illness or injury for which the person was admitted to the hospital

Our administrative staff can certainly help you with any further clarifications if necessary.

How fast can I book an appointment?

Since we have several locations , we can get patients in for treatment fairly quickly. We try our hardest to work within a patient’s availability and most often are able to schedule new patients on the very same day as your call!

What should I wear for the appointment?
  • Wear something comfortable that you feel good exercising in
  • Bring a good pair of running shoes
How long will the first visit take?

The first visit usually takes about 1 hour to complete. During this visit, the physiotherapist will go through an assessment so they can fully understand the problem surrounding their falls history. The physiotherapist will then assess their range of motion, balance and strength. The patient may also be requested to do some questionnaires to get some information about their falls history. Once the assessment is completed, the physiotherapist will start with some basic exercises to start the process of reducing their falls risk.

How long do follow-up visits take?

The follow-up visits usually range between 45 – 60 mins depending on the number of exercises that are done. The physiotherapist will also re-assess the patient after every couple of visits to track any changes and progress the exercises as required.

How many visits will it take to get better?

The number of visits that is needed to improve is different for every patient. Everyone progresses at a different rate and it is difficult to set out a firm timeline. In general, we recommend that patients complete about 8-12 weeks of treatment, which can be spread out as the patient improves and gets stronger.

I know there are different locations of PhysioNow. Can I book an assessment at one office and then a follow-up at a different office if necessary?

Yes, you can definitely have your assessment at one office and your follow up at another office if necessary. We try our best to accommodate what works best with you and your schedule so if one location works better than another, there is no issue with changing locations. We can send over your treatment file to the appropriate office so that the Physiotherapist seeing you has all the information and can provide ongoing treatment.

We hope that these FAQs provide you with the information that you are looking for and help you to choose PhysioNow for your Physiotherapy care!

Call today to get started 289-724-0448!

Common Questions about FALLS PREVENTION PROGRAM

Where do falls among older adults occur most frequently?

Older adults fall due to a variety of reasons. Some known causes for falls include increased clutter, polypharmacy (which refers to taking many different kinds of medications for a variety of health issues), poor vision, poor balance and overall poor strength. Majoirty of the falls do tend to happen in the home because that’s where older adults spend most of their time.

What should be done if a senior falls at home?

The reasons why a senior falls should be closely evaluated. If there have been more than one fall, then the senior should defintely be seen by a doctor for a complete evaluation. If the reaosns for the person’s fall have been confirmed to be due to poor strength and balance, then it is important that the senior works with a physiotherapist to improve their strength and conditioning. The physiotherapist can assess the falls risk and develop an exercise program that will help prevent future falls.

What are the major risk factors for falls among older adults?

Poor general health, taking a number of different medications, low activity levels, poor strength, poor balance, poor vision, cluttered environment and previous falls are all risk factors for falls.

What are the best strategies for fall prevention?

Falls prevention involves several different components. Firstly, it is important that the patient and their support system understands the reasons behind the falls. Secondly, the enviornment of the senior should be evaluated for potential hazards that may contribute to an increased fall risk. For example, if there are a lot of floor rugs, cluttered furniture and poor lighting in the home, these may have to be addresed so that the home environment is safer. Lastly, it is vital that the senior is invovled in some strengthenig and balance retraining program with a physiotherapist so that they can build their tolerance for activity and prevent falls. The physiotherapist can also educate the senior on how to get up from a fall so that the senior can get to a phone to call for help if necessary.

What kinds of fall prevention intervention programs are currently available?

There are lots of exercise programs that are available at the community centres to work on general strengthenig and conditioning. Many hospitals also run falls prevention programs but entry will require a doctor’s referral. A registered physiotherapist can also implement a falls prevention program at a community clinic through a personalized home exercise program.

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