1 in 4 older adults aren’t reporting falls; physical trainers speak on fall prevention

1 in 4 older adults aren’t reporting falls, physical trainers on fall prevention

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Physical therapists are encouraging the elderly to report falls to their doctors.

This comes after former President Jimmy Carter was hospitalized due to a fall.

“Our goal is to get the patient to stay in the middle,” said Thea Boyd, a Physical Therapist with Phoebe hospital.

“We want them to be able to balance and keep themselves of the middle of the screen,” she said.

She’s demonstrating how a balance training machine helps patients prevent falls.

“As a person begins to get older, the muscles begin to fail, the neuro systems proprioceptors all begin to wane, so to speak,” Boyd explained.

She said there are numbers to prove it.

Annually, more than 27,000 people, ages 65 years and up die from falls every year.

Boyd said what is worse is 1 in 4 older adults aren’t speaking up.

"The biggest thing is people don’t tell their doctors. As they get older, they are so independent and they don’t want to give us their independence,” she said.

Boyd said it can be the smallest thing causing the falls.

“Little things in the house, rolled up rugs, and cords, and lamps and not enough lights, clutter, little simple things can really add to a fall,” she explained.

Ultimately, Boyd said being aware is important, and devices like this can help.

“It’s just a way to stimulate. You are bypassing the brain a little bit because you can’t think about it a lot. It’s just a way to stimulate. You are bypassing the brain a little bit because you can’t think about it a lot,” she said.

The therapists also recommend having a safety system in place for those who need it.

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