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Balance & Falls Prevention Program

Falling is not a normal part of getting older, but falling is a common problem for many older adults. Luckily, most falls can be prevented and there are many things you can do to improve your balance and stay safe! When you prevent a fall, you can live a full life doing the things you love.

WakeMed’s Balance & Falls Prevention Program starts with an evaluation by a physical therapist (PT). Your PT may recommend:  

Exercises for strength and balance  Joining an exercise class  Making your home saferHaving your vision or hearing checked  Meeting with an occupational therapist (OT) to improve your safety at home

After your evaluation, your PT will guide you through a program to improve your balance and safety. 

Why is Falls Prevention Important? 

More than 1 in 4 older adults fall each year, and the number of older adults who fall annually is rising. Taking steps to avoid falling is important so you can avoid the negative consequences that can happen after a fall:

Falls can lead to injuries, which can be painful, expensive or require surgery.  Falls can lead to loss of mobility and independence. Many people who are afraid of falling limit their activities. But being less active makes you more likely to fall.

With simple changes and proper attention, you can improve your balance and decrease your risk of falls. Our Ready, Steady, Go Falls Intervention Program examines your unique fall risk and offers solutions to help keep you on your feet, and as healthy and active as possible to minimize the chance of a first or future fall. Our program is tailored after the CDC recommendations on how to most effectively address fall risk, utilizing the most recent scientific assessment and evaluation tools as well as evidence-based treatments to provide dynamic and personalized care.

Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Falls 

Changes in balance, vision and strength can all contribute to fall risk in older adults, but following these fall prevention tips can help keep you safe.

Stay Active

Strength, balance and flexibility are important to preventing a fall. A PT will teach you the best exercises for you or help you find an exercise class close to your home.

Have Your Medications Reviewed

Many medications increase the chance of falling and, in some cases, getting injured. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines and how they affect your risk of falling each year.

Get Your Vision & Hearing Checked Annually  

Being able to see and hear well is important for good balance. Have your eyes and hearing checked each year and wear your glasses and hearing aids if they are recommended for you. Use good lighting throughout your home to help you see clearly.

Perform a Home Safety Check 

When you’ve lived in your home for a long time, it can be difficult to recognize potential risks. The Center for Disease Control & Prevention created the Home Fall Prevention Checklist that can help you and your family “fall proof” your home. An OT can help solve the unique challenges in your home. 

Seek Help & Support

Creating new habits takes support so ask the people who care about you to help. Talk to your health care provider about any concerns and ask for a referral to WakeMed’s Balance Program. 

Schedule an Appointment 

Interested in WakeMed’s Balance & Falls Prevention Program? Call 919-350-7000 to schedule an appointment today at a WakeMed Outpatient Rehabilitation location near you. A physician referral is required for outpatient rehab services. 

Fall Prevention Resources 

There are some great resources available to help reduce the chance of a fall and possible injury. We encourage you to explore these regional and national resources at your convenience.