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Falls Prevention from the Occupational and Physio Perspective
Our Team Is Highly Concern
Falls are a significant health concern for older adults, as they can result in serious injuries, such as fractures, head trauma, and hip fractures.
In Singapore and Asia, falls are a major public health problem, and their incidence is expected to increase as the population ages.
Statistics and Facts to illustrate the danger of falls among older adults in the region
- In Singapore, falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalisations and death among older adults aged 65 years and above. Between 2014 and 2018, there were over 14,000 hospitalisations and over 1,200 deaths due to falls among older adults in Singapore. (source: Ministry of Health, Singapore)
- In Asia, falls are the second leading cause of death due to unintentional injuries among older adults, after road traffic accidents. Falls account for 37% of unintentional injury deaths among older adults in Asia. (source: World Health Organisation)
- The risk of falling increases with age. In Singapore, the fall incidence rate among older adults aged 65 years and above was 3.6 per 100 person-years in 2018. However, the fall incidence rate increased to 7.5 per 100 person-years among older adults aged 85 years and above. (source: Ministry of Health, Singapore)
- Falls can lead to a steep decline in health and quality of life among older adults. Older adults who fall may suffer from physical injuries, loss of confidence, fear of falling, and social isolation. Falls can also lead to increased healthcare utilisation, functional decline, and disability. (source: World Health Organisation)
Prevention Is Key Key Key
Did we say it’s key more than once? Given the significant impact of falls on older adults’ health and quality of life, falls prevention is crucial. Here are some reasons why falls prevention is one of the most utmost important things to look into for people over 60 years old:
- Falls are preventable. Many falls among older adults can be prevented through simple interventions, such as exercise, home modifications, and medication management. (source: World Health Organisation)
- Falls prevention can improve older adults’ physical function and quality of life. Falls prevention programs that include exercise, balance training, and home modifications have been shown to reduce falls and improve physical function among older adults. (source: Cochrane Library)
- Falls prevention can reduce healthcare costs. Falls prevention programs can reduce healthcare costs associated with falls, such as hospitalisations and rehabilitation. In Singapore, a falls prevention program for older adults was found to be cost-effective, with a return on investment of 1.7. (source: BMC Geriatrics)
How a Multidisciplinary Rehab Team can play the key role to help the population, their families and the healthcare system
The ageing population is growing rapidly worldwide, and with that, the burden on the healthcare system is also increasing. Multidisciplinary rehabilitation teams have been shown to be effective in improving the quality of life for older adults and reducing the burden on the healthcare system. Here are a few studies that demonstrate the benefits of such teams:
- A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society examined the effects of a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program on older adults who had undergone surgery for hip fractures. The program included physical therapy, occupational therapy, and dietary counselling. The results showed that patients who participated in the program had better functional outcomes and a shorter length of hospital stay compared to those who received standard care.
- Another study published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine looked at the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program for older adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The program included physical therapy, respiratory therapy, and dietary counselling. The results showed that patients who participated in the program had better exercise capacity, improved lung function, and improved quality of life compared to those who received standard care.
- A systematic review published in the Journal of Ageing Research found that multidisciplinary rehabilitation teams can reduce the risk of hospitalisation and improve functional outcomes in older adults with chronic conditions such as heart failure and diabetes. The review included studies that evaluated multidisciplinary rehabilitation programs that included physical therapy, occupational therapy, dietary counselling, and social work.
- A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association examined the effects of a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program on older adults with dementia. The program included physical therapy, occupational therapy, and cognitive therapy. The results showed that patients who participated in the program had improved functional outcomes and a lower risk of falls compared to those who received standard care.
These studies demonstrate that multidisciplinary rehabilitation teams consisting of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, dieticians, exercise therapists, massage therapists, and stretch therapists can play a key role in helping the ageing population, their families, and the overburdened healthcare system.
By preventing falls from happening, our team can improve functional outcomes, reduce hospitalisations, and improve the quality of life for the general population.
Lifeweavers is a multi-disciplinary therapy team of highly experienced rehabilitation clinicians consisting:
– Occupational Therapists
– Speech Therapists
– Hand Therapists
– Stretch Therapists
– Specialised Massage Therapists
We also work with rehab doctors, counsellors and links up with support groups, social prescriptions and external vendors with other specialised services or equipment to assist our clients every step of the way on their recovery journey.