Who do older people fall?
Gait and balance disorders are one of the main causes of most falls. Falls are a global problem costing billions of pounds in the USA, Australia and the UK. With the older population increasing, the cost of falls is expected to double in the next five years if the problem is not addressed.
One in three senior citizens fall each year and 25% suffer hip fractures as a result. Only 25% of hip fractures make a full recovery; 40% need in-patient care and 25% will die within a year. Falls are responsible for disability, loss of quality of life and independent living and for many, the need for in-patient care.
However, many falls and related injuries in older adults are largely avoidable. Our posture determines how well our body works and people who feel well balanced are therefore fitter and live longer.
It is an urgent Public Health issue as most reasons for falls are addressed after the event rather than correcting a problem before it occurs. Following a fall there is then the fear of falling which can be just as debilitating. With a professional ‘fall assessment’ this problem could be reduced.
Podiatrist – Pat Turnbull
I am an experienced Podiatrist who has conducted extensive research into falls and fall prevention in the senior population in USA, Australia and now in the UK. I have had many positive outcomes treating patients with balance problems. This research is using data collected from research carried out on the soles of the feet of the 10 NASA Astronauts who travelled aboard the 4 Space Shuttle missions who reported balance problems when they returned to earth.
By stimulating receptors in the feet, balance can be improved. Once balance is improved walking speed may also improve which can improve the quality of life for many.
Pat Turnbull. BSc. MChS. FRSPH.
West Sussex Podiatry. High St. Henfield. Sussex, BN59DB
Member- HPC, UK. APRAH Australia. British Medical Acupuncture Society.
Tel: 01273493662 M: 07593126363.