Falls, particularly during this cold Muskoka winter season is most common because many of our roads and pathways have become covered in ice and snow. On average, 1 in 3 older adults will fall each year and that is the leading cause of injury leading to hospitalization for this population (Government of Canada, 2014). For example, falls can result in fractures, dislocations and concussions. Education on fall prevention is very important because the split second that it takes to have a fall can drastically alter someone’s quality of life.
Falls are a multi-factorial issue, which means there are many factors that can lead to falls. It is important that our environments, both in our homes and out in the community, are safe. Some examples of preventing falls at home are minimizing the use of throw rugs and ensuring you have adequate lighting such as night lights. Diet is also very important as proper nutrition helps to maintain our overall health and energy. Having proper footwear (especially while walking outside in the winter) and making sure assistive devices are being used correctly are also key in fall prevention. Finally, exercise is crucial as it is an optimal way to maintain strength and balance!
Falls can lead to an unfortunate fall cycle. When someone falls they often develop a fear of future falls, which results in a lack of physical activity due to the fear, which in turn leads to reduced strength, balance and flexibility, and ultimately increases the chance of having a future fall. Therefore, it is important that we break the fall cycle and remain active, even after an initial fall!
Aquatic therapy is a great option for helping to break the fall cycle. The pool offers a safe environment for working on strength and balance. If you fall into the pool, your hair might just get a little wet and injury is very unlikely! Due to the constant resistance being applied to your Healthy Body and the turbulence from small waves, your strength and proprioception (or balance) are being exercised. Furthermore, if you have a previous injury, the pool provides a comfortable space to exercise as the buoyancy helps to alleviate some of your Healthy Body weight through your joints and encourages a further range of motion.
Here at ProActive Rehab, we offer both individual and group Aquatic Therapy programs. Make sure you give us a call so we can help you take a step towards your fall prevention practices! Contact us at 705-788-1480 or [email protected]