According to the U.S. Congress Fall Prevention Act, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among individuals who are over 65 years of age. The 65+ population will double by 2030.
The Fall Prevention Act found that, “A national approach to reducing elder falls, which focuses on the daily life of senior citizens in residential, institutional, and community settings is needed. The approach should include a wide range of organizations and individuals including family members, health care providers, social workers, architects, employers and others.”
As a result, Medicare now recommends that all Medicare patients receive an annual Fall Risk Assessment.
At Optimum Wellness Centers, the assessment is just one part of a complete program to help reduce the risk of falls. This page explains our comprehensive program for assessment, treatment, and prevention.
1 Balance & Fall Risk Assessment: Simple & Painless
A fall risk assessment is the first step for reducing fall risk and reducing the fear of falling.
A major problem confining older people to their homes is the fear of falling. In many cases, this turns out to be a surprise for families because most elderly people are afraid to talk about since they fear it will lead to a loss of independence.
Many seniors are afraid of falls, but even more afraid to admit it.
That’s why Medicare recommends that all Medicare patients receive an annual fall risk assessment. When followed, this recommendation helps address one of the most difficult aspects of balance and dizziness problems in the elderly— the fear of losing independence. Leading experts suggest that the often unspoken fear of losing independence as a consequence of admitting the fear of falling can be a significant obstacle to beginning prevention planning at the earliest opportunity, when it can provide the greatest chance to reduce the risk of a debilitating fall.
Comprehensive Balance & Fall Risk Assessments Include Four Types of Evaluation
Individual risk factors
Physical therapy tests and measurements
Review of drug interactions
Home safety questionnaire
2 Balance Treatment & Fall Risk Prevention
Your Physical Therapist Will Summarize Your Evaluation Results and Formulate a Treatment Plan That Is Designed Specifically For You.
- If muscle weakness or tightness is found, then you will begin a series of exercises that will strengthen and loosen the muscles.
- Balance deficits can be treated through a series of exercises designed to specifically target and improve the body’s balance systems. These exercises have been proven in clinical studies to improve balance regardless of the person’s age.
- As strength and balance improve, we can tie it all together by working on any functional skill that you are having difficulty with.
- How long will it take to see improvement? Most patients experience improvements within 4-6 visits, attending two to three times weekly.
- Will Medicare pay for treatment? Physical therapy treatment for balance problems including muscle weakness, difficulty walking, dizziness and history of falls are covered services by Medicare, as well as most other insurance plans, within the limitations of coverage guidelines.
|Static/Dynamic Balance Retraining|
|Education/Customized Home Program|
|Functional Retraining (curbs, stairs, uneven surfaces)|
|Neurological Evaluation & Treatment|
|Neuromuscular facilitation exercises|
|Assessment of abnormal muscle tone|
|Assess and provide with assistive device (PRN)|
|Annual Fall Risk Assessment|
|Progressive resistive strengthening|