When a senior falls, it’s typical for an injury to occur. In fact, 87% of all fractures in the elderly are due to falls- including 95% of all hip fractures. When proper senior rehabilitation and treatment for falls isn’t set in motion immediately, over half of these older adults will likely experience another fall within six months.
After a fall and the required hospital stay lasting one to four days, most seniors will find they need to be transferred to a skilled nursing facility for long term or short term rehabilitation. They will continue with both physical and occupational therapy to help increase their flexibility, balance, strength and coordination to help avoid future falls.
The goal of both short term rehabilitation and long term rehabilitation for seniors is to get them back to an active, independent and healthy lifestyle. Depending on the seniors’ needs and the requirements of the physician’s care plan, a stay in a short term skilled nursing facility can last anywhere from a few days to about a month, and is often covered by Medicare. Long term rehabilitation, on the other hand, is necessary when the injury is more severe and usually lasts as long as a few months.
Being physically well is vital to prevent falls from occurring in the future. A physical therapist will provide exercises to ensure the senior is regaining muscle strength and coordination, as well as gait training so the senior can learn how to walk with an assistive device, if necessary.
At the same time, an occupational therapist will make sure seniors are comfortable doing activities like dressing, bathing, grooming and eating before they are discharged from the skilled nursing facility.
With proper rehabilitation after a fall, the likelihood that a senior can return to independent living increases by 80%. Rehabilitation for seniors will help restore their functionality, reduce their pain and increase their mobility. After undergoing the different therapies, many seniors find a renewed sense of confidence and that daily tasks are easier and safer to complete. Reduce pain, develop strength and help reduce the risk of future injury with specialized rehabilitation programs for seniors.