Balance and Strength Class

Balance & Falls Prevention:

Problems with falls arise when we get older. As we age, our balance, strength and reaction speed decrease, increasing the risk of having a fall. In addition to this our bones get weaker and our ability to recover from an injury decrease, dramatically increasing the risk of having a serious injury following a fall. Both the risk of falling and of serious injury can be reduced through targeted exercise.
Physiotherapists are well trained to assess and treat a range of balance conditions through the prescription of specific exercises to target lower limb strength, reaction speed, and exercises to challenge the various body systems which contribute to balance.

What will the class involve:

  • Education regarding hazards and falls prevention, along with techniques of how to get off the floor, should a fall occur.
  • Walking over and balancing on unstable surfaces
  • Stepping up, down and over obstacles
  • Reaching outside of your base of support
  • Functional exercises to improve lower limb strength and endurance
  • Prescription of an individualised home exercise program to be performed daily.

Classes are co-ordinated and supervised by a Physiotherapist. To optimise safety and facilitate optimal improvement, classes are limited to a small group of five people.

So why is falls prevention so important in the aging population?:

  • Falls and fall related injuries are a major cause of mortality and morbidity in the aging population
  • Falls are the leading cause of injury related hospital admissions in people over the age of 65
  • The risk of falling increases with age
  • Currently a serious fall related injury is the leading predictor of loss of independence
  • Falls are the major reason for older people deciding to move into residential care
  • Most falls occur in the home
  • Most of  the falls which occur at home are preventable
  • Strengthening exercises increase bone density, which reduces the risk of fracture following a fall.

Causes of Falls:

  • Poor balance.
  • Weakness of muscles.
  • Stiff joints.
  • Slow reaction times.
  • Rushing causing lack of concentration and carelessness.
  • Tiredness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Hazards about the home.
  • Taking risks- eg. Standing on chairs.
  • Unsuitable clothing or footwear.
  • Weakening eyesight – 300% more light is needed by the elderly to see as well as a 20 year old.
  • Incorrect use of medication can cause dizziness or poor balance.

What to bring with you:

  • Wear appropriate clothing that is loose-fitting and light weight
  • Wear well-fitting shoes with an enclosed heel and none-slip sole
  • Bring any glasses you usually wear (not your reading glasses)
  • Bring any mobility aids you may require to assist you with walking
  • Bring any preventative medication such as inhalers

Class Times:

Classes run for 45 minutes twice a week and the program runs for 8 weeks. Clients are highly encouraged to continue with their home exercise program at the completion of the program. A balance assessment with the Physiotherapist is performed prior to commencement and on conclusion of the classes.

Fees:

Physiotherapist Initial consultation fee for individual assessment at the commencement of the program
$20 per class, following initial consultation
DVA & EPC eligible clients are bulk billed with a Doctors referral.

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