Fall Prevention Awareness Week is a nationwide effort to raise awareness on preventing falls and reducing fall risk, and to empower older adults to live without the fear of falling. This year’s Fall Prevention Awareness Week is September 18-24.
Gait training physical therapy is a preventative intervention utilized to address dysfunction in walking, balance, and movement symmetry, especially among older adults. Gait training exercises can be performed in a variety of different ways. Often, gait training is performed with an assistive device such as a cane or walker. However, other forms of gait training can focus on independent ambulation and finding ways to maximize the efficiency of one’s walking pattern.
Exercises to improve balance are important for everyone, but especially older adults. As the body ages, there is a natural tendency for vision, balance, and overall strength to decline. These subtle changes often go unnoticed until it is too late – such as when a person has already experienced a fall.
Improving balance is a great way to prevent falls. Falls often lead to other complications such as bruising, bone fractures, and head injuries – even more reason to focus on maintaining good balance and stability as we age.
Below are some exercises to improve balance for seniors, although they can benefit people of all ages.
Please note that these exercises are not intended as prescribed medical advice. Before starting a new exercise program, one should always consult their physician, physical therapist, or other healthcare professional.
It’s highly recommended to receive a thorough evaluation by a physical therapist to determine any underlying root causes or concerns and to ensure the exercise program is safe, effective, and customized to the individual.
Images courtesy of HEP2go.com
Dr. Jazmin Morris, PT, DPT, OCS completed her undergraduate degree at Stockton University, and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) from Thomas Jefferson University. She is also a Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS). She specializes in orthopedics, including post-surgical rehabilitation, return-to-sport training, and work-related injuries. She currently serves as SportsMed Physical Therapy Regional Clinical Director of Physical Therapy, and Clinical Director of SportsMed Physical Therapy in Brick, NJ.
Jazmin is committed to actively involving the patient in the rehab process, and providing an individualized plan of care that centers around reaching the specific goals of the patient. She believes in applying evidence-based research to ensure quality patient care and maximally effective rehab. Her favorite part about being a physical therapist is being an active part of her patients’ recoveries and watching them achieve their goals.
During her time away from work, she enjoys baking, roller coasters, and spending time with her family.