Reduce falls and fractures in elderly

How can Physiotherapy reduce falls and fractures in elderly?

Falls in elderly is the major cause of fractures, reduced mobility and functional independence. Older adults are more at risk of falling than younger population. Around 1 in 3 adults over 65 and half of people over 80 will have at least one fall a year as stated on the NHS website. In addition to costing NHS 2.3 billion per year, the human cost of falls is pain, injury, distress, and loss of confidence. Falls not only effect the person but also family and carers. In addition to the human cost, there is economic cost of falls too!

According to WHO, falls is defined as an event which results in a person coming to rest inadvertently on the ground or floor or other lower level. The fall can result in severe injury which can have a lasting effect on the older person’s abilities.

The cause of falls is multifactorial and divided in to intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The intrinsic factors consist of co-morbidities, nutrition, muscle weakness, poor vision, memory problems, polypharmacy etc. Extrinsic factors consist of environmental factors resulting in falls like cluttered house, wires, wet floors, loose rugs etc.The most common consequence of falls in elderly are fractures. They can vary from a simple fracture needing conservative management to severe ones needing surgical intervention. Hip fractures with ‘fracture Neck of femur’ being the most common one, cause greatest health problems and mortality amongst elderly population.

UKhomephysio provides comprehensive falls assessment programme to prevent the risk of falls. Our team has specialist Physiotherapists providing Physio at home Coulsdon, Epsom and Ewell. We are experts at identifying the risk of falls and making recommendations to reduce both extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Being Home visit Physiotherapists in surrey, we have the expertise to advice on reducing the risk factors in the house which are the major cause of falls. The environmental modifications help the patient to safely manoeuvre in the house and therefore, improves the confidence.

Fragility fractures are caused because of falling on weak bones which can be due to numerous reasons. Many elderly patients justify the falls by giving the reference of ‘old age’ However, getting old doesn’t mean that the bones must be weak too. Physiotherapists can assess the deficits in strength, balance, movements, and posture which increase the risk of falls. Ukhomephysio provides Private Physiotherapy at home who will work on the strengthening of muscles, flexibility of joints and neuromuscular system to improve balance and stability. The chartered society of Physiotherapists states that there are about 500,000 fragility fractures each year resulting serious mobility impairments in about 50% and death in 10% of fallers.

Postural hypotension is another leading cause of falls in elderly. An older person may not drink enough fluids and get dehydrated. Most of them have immense fear of getting up and going to empty the bladder, therefore, drink less fluids to avoid this exercise. Poor mobility and lower limb strength is the main cause of above, which then starts the vicious cycle of infections, falls and fractures. Physiotherapists are best placed to give information about the significance of having appropriate fluid intake.

Physiotherapists can set up specifically tailored exercise plan in home Physio sessions aimed at reducing the fear of falls and improving the functional capacity in individuals with complex needs. Exercises done at correct intensity also assist in improving bone health therefore, reducing the risk of fragility fractures. Evidence suggests that Physio at home is an integral part of rehab plan for the individuals at risk of falls and fractures.


We are experts in Elderly Physiotherapy. For more information or informal conversation, please contact us at 02080873132 or info@ukhomephysio.co.uk