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Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine Centers offer specialty care for individuals who have experienced loss of balance or recent falls. Occupational and physical therapists, in consultation with your physician, will establish an individualized treatment program to reduce your risk for future falls.
Who is at risk for falls?
There are a number of possible factors which can increase your risk for falls. A few include:
- Recent acute illness
- Low blood pressure
- Starting a new medication in the last two weeks or taking four or more medications
- History of falls in the past year with or without injury
- Environmental hazards such as low beds and toilets or poor lighting
- Poor posture, decreased strength or joint motion
- Urinary frequency
- Living alone
- Poor vision
Why attend a balance program?
Falls are not part of the normal aging process, but may be due to reversible conditions. Complications from falls can lead to lengthy hospital stays and increase dependence on others. Rehabilitation specialists can recommend interventions to prevent this from happening.
Occupational and physical therapists will assess each patient’s posture, balance, strength, walking pattern, joint flexibility, vision, cognition, and conduct an interview regarding the home environment. After they have determined what is impairing your balance, the therapists will design an individualized program of therapeutic exercises, including specific strengthening and balance exercises, gait retraining, and safety education. All exercises will be designed for maximum safety and security.
If needed, your therapist may recommend an assistive device for walking such as a cane, crutches, or a walker and also make appropriate home adaptation recommendations like bathroom safety equipment.