Month: <span>July 2020</span>

elderly balance deficits

Overcome Balance Deficits with In-Home Therapy

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.

Cane Assistive Devices

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.

sit to stand positioning

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.

in-home occupational therapy

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

Vertigo Exercise

Physical Therapy Can Improve Vertigo

Physical Therapy can be an important modality for the treatment of vertigo. Benign paroxysmal positional Vertigo (BPPV) most referred to as vertigo is generally an inner ear problem that causes sensations of spinning, unsteadiness, nausea, headaches, and dizziness. It is a common cause of balance loss and falls.

Most people experiencing vertigo have difficulties with any type of movement including moving from sit to stand positions, sudden head movements and getting up from a lying position. Those who have experienced vertigo, like myself, have felt the sensations of constant dizziness and head spinning even while in a static position. This can be quite debilitating, frightening, and stressful.

What Causes Vertigo?

BBPV is not a life threatening disorder, but it is an uncomfortable one. BBPV is caused when small crystals in your inner ear are misaligned or become loose giving false messages to your brain when you make sudden movements. The onset can be abrupt, and, in most cases, there is no specific event which causes this to happen. There is no specific age where vertigo can strike. However, it is most common in adults over the age of 60.Maria Li Calzi P.T.A

Identifying and Treating Vertigo with Physical Therapy

Often doctors will prescribe a patient with anti-nausea, decongestants, or anti-motion sickness medications known as Meclizine. While these medications can reduce symptoms, they are not curing and will not re-align the crystals in your inner ear.

Diagnosing vertigo can be done with a maneuver called Dix-Hallpike, which a trained physical therapist can perform. This often uncomfortable maneuver is done by lying a patient on their back, moving their head, and looking for rapid eye changes while in that position. This can tell us which ear is the cause of the problem. After we identify this, a simple and effective treatment known as the Epley maneuver and other physical therapy approaches and exercise programs can re-align the crystals and dramatically reduce symptoms and improve balance to a patient.

Physical Therapy Assistant Exercises

Physical Therapy Help Manages Vertigo Symptoms

I have experienced vertigo firsthand and have worked with many patients to restore balance into their lives. Physical therapy can help. We can show home exercises to manage your symptoms and teach patients self-maneuvers should a reoccurrence happen. Please contact Wedell Home Therapy to learn more.

By Maria Li Calzi, Physical Therapy Assistant

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). (n.d.). Retrieved from John’s Hopkins Medicine: