Therapy program tries to prevent falls

Kevin Magna

November 12, 2010

A unique therapy program is taking place in North Carolina's Kings Mountain Hospital – it consists of helping seniors with a one-on-one format, so each session is customized to their needs, according to The Shelby Star.

Paul Ratchford, one senior taking the program, has signed up for it after others encouraged him.

"Everyone's worried about me falling," he told the news provider. "I had to get a cane."

While Ratchford hasn't had an injury yet, he is at a high risk due to circulation problems that cause numbness in his feet. Two times each week, he goes into the hospital for 45-minute sessions that generally help him stretch tight muscles and work on improving his balance.

Patients may also step onto a platform and hold their weight on one foot or put one leg on an elevated surface and hold it for several seconds.

Fall therapy programs can help reduce the risk of a fall, but one in three seniors still fall each year, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One way older adults can ensure their safety is to invest in a personal emergency response system, which can be used to send a medical alert to physicians in the case of an emergency.

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