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Rehabilitation After a Fall: What to Expect

March 14, 2022

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Falling can lead to injuries that can  compromise a senior’s independence. Research shows 87% of all fractures in the elderly are due to falling, including 95% of all hip fractures. If these seniors neglect to seek proper treatment and rehabilitation immediately, over half of them will likely experience a subsequent fall within a six-month period.

Senior rehabilitation therapy after a fall begins during the hospital stay, which can last several days. While you’re an inpatient, the medical team, the physical therapy team, and the occupational therapy team will assess your condition and determine the right treatment plan. Before you’re released, the teams make sure you’re able to get out of bed on your own, manage your pain, walk with the necessary assistive devices, and manage daily tasks like bathing and dressing.

If you’re unable to accomplish these tasks independently, the team may suggest that you transfer to a senior rehabilitation center for further care.

Fall Recovery: Proper Senior Rehabilitation Is Key

The goal of a senior rehabilitation program is to help you comfortably return to your normal lifestyle with as full range of motion and little pain as possible. Depending on your individual needs and your physician’s care plan, a short-term stay in the senior rehab center can last anywhere from a few days to about a month. Seniors who need a longer recovery time can receive care for as long as a few months.

 Here’s what to expect when you’re receiving rehabilitation for fall recovery:

  • Evaluation of fall risk. Your therapy team will learn your medical history and fall history, and evaluate the extent of any physical impairments. This information will allow them to create a plan of care to reduce your risk of a future fall.
  • Therapy services. Once the team understands how to best return you to the level of independence you’re accustomed to, physical and occupational therapy services will begin. Physical therapy for seniors is designed to help improve your strength, endurance, flexibility and balance, while occupational therapy ensures you are able to successfully perform activities of daily living.
  • Education on fall prevention. To keep you as safe as possible from a future fall, your therapy team will teach you fall prevention tips. For example, you’ll learn how to properly navigate with assistive devices, and practice exercises to continue to increase your strength and balance.
  • Tips to safeguard your home. The last step in fall recovery may involve an assessment of your home by the occupational therapist to determine what types of modifications may be needed. They may recommend adding grab bars in the bathroom, removing throw rugs and low furniture, or adding more lighting.

With proper rehabilitation after a fall, the likelihood you can return to living as independently as you were prior to your hospital stay increases by up to 80%. You might experience a renewed level of confidence and find that daily tasks are now even easier to complete than before.

Specialized Short- and Long-Term Senior Rehabilitation at Franciscan Ministries

Find quality inpatient and outpatient senior rehabilitation at Franciscan Ministries. Our comprehensive services include one-on-one treatment from licensed professionals to ensure you’re enjoying the highest quality of life possible after a fall. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a tour.