Balance Deficits in Older Adults
One of the main reasons older adults seek medical attention is to address balance deficits that have contributed to falls, gait dysfunctions, feeling of unsteadiness, and overall decline in performing daily activities. As we age our balance and vestibular system slowly begins to decline. It is estimated that 6 out of 10 falls occur in the home. According to the National Council on Aging “Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries to older Americans. Every 11 seconds, an older adult goes to an emergency department to treat an injury from a fall (Georges, 2019).
Balance Deficits Causes and Affects
Balance deficits can be caused by several different conditions such as vertigo, strokes, neurologic disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease, cardiac diseases, nerve damage, post cancer treatment, neuropathy, decreased strength, hip and knee arthritis are all amongst some of the causes of balance deficits. Currently those afflicted with COVID19 are experiencing balance deficits which has been affecting their recovery process.
Decreased balance can affect one’s posture, gait pattern, strength, flexibility, ability to negotiate steps, stepping into a bathtub, cooking, standing at the kitchen sink to wash dishes and even one’s attention and reaction time. This type of decline can affect an individual’s activities of daily living and in some cases stop them from doing the things they love the most.
How Can Wedell Home Therapy Help
Wedell Home Therapy can help by first performing an in-home physical therapy and occupational therapy assessment. The in-home therapists work with you to make simple modifications and identify potential fall hazards in the home.
Trained physical therapists and occupational therapist can help reduce incidences of falls in the home. In addition, therapists work on developing a targeted rehabilitation program geared toward restoring balance, strength, flexibility, and mobility to improve your quality of life.
Clinical balance assessment tests are performed with you to identify areas of possible deficits. For example, a therapist will evaluate you moving from a sit to stand position, reaching into the kitchen cabinets, or stepping in and out of the shower. There is an emphasis on addressing an individuals’ specific deficits. If you or someone you know is experiencing balance deficits, contact Wedell Home Therapy to improve overall quality of life.
By Maria Li Calzi, Physical Therapy Assistant
Georges, C. A. (2019, December 2). Striking a Balance to Avoid Dangerous Falls. Retrieved from AARP.org