While not all falls cause injury, many do lead to serious injury—particularly among older adults. In fact, falls are the top cause of fatal injury among older adults, as well as the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related rehospitalizations.
For seniors with health issues resulting from a fall, rehab services can help them regain their strength, alleviate pain, and recover other abilities that are essential to their wellbeing and independence.
To provide optimal outcomes for residents following a fall, Skilled Nursing Facilities should implement care plans that entail a blend of physical, occupational, and sometimes even speech therapies, depending on the severity of the fall.
Read on for a look at the role of therapy services in helping residents recover after a fall.
Rehab Services & Fall Recovery: How Physical Therapy Helps Residents Recover
Following a fall, physical therapy is almost always necessary to help residents recover. In a nutshell, physical therapy plays a key role in helping residents regain their functional independence.
Every fall is different, and so is every injury stemming from one. Once a therapist has evaluated a resident’s injury or impairment after a fall and determined his or her specific deficits and needs, the provider can then create custom exercise and training programs to improve the resident’s strength and balance.
Some of these exercises include:
- strength training
- moving and walking
- performing multiple activities at one time, such as walking and talking
In addition to helping residents recover from falls, physical therapy plays a key role in preventing falls. One of the chief ways that rehab services providers can help reduce the incidence of falls is by educating residents about their risk of falling. This includes teaching them safe physical activities that can help improve their overall quality of life.
Rehab Services & Fall Recovery: How Occupational Therapy Helps Residents Recover
It’s not uncommon for seniors to have trouble completing at least one or two activities of daily living (ADLs)—such as walking, bathing, grooming, and housekeeping—after a fall.
For seniors needing special care as a result of a serious injury caused by falls, occupational therapy can help promote ideal outcomes. This particular area of rehab services focuses on helping residents successfully carry out ADLs.
Because each resident’s needs will differ, therapy providers should develop individualized programs that target residents’ risk factors specific to their unique situation. These programs generally include intentional movements and activities designed to help residents overcome challenges with completing ADLs.
And, finally, much like with physical therapy, occupational therapy also has a role in helping prevent resident falls. Occupational therapists can assess a resident’s home environment and provide feedback about improvements that will make the home easier to navigate.
Rehab Services & Fall Recovery: How Speech Therapy Helps Residents Recover
There are any number of injuries that can result from a fall—including those that may impact a resident’s ability to communicate effectively.
This is where speech therapy services, also known as speech/language pathology, come into play. Speech therapy can help residents overcome challenges with speech, swallowing, and cognition, following a fall.
Therapy providers can create personalized speech therapy regimens for residents. But first, identifying the true cause of the resident’s newfound communication issues is key.
By completing a comprehensive evaluation, a speech therapist is able to quickly determine whether a resident’s problem is due to language, swallowing, or cognitive impairment following a fall. From there, the resident’s therapist and care team can develop a speech therapy program that will address his or her specific needs and help recover abilities as much as possible.
When it comes to providing optimal outcomes for residents who have sustained injuries from falls, a custom blend of these three types of rehab services can go a long way toward getting residents back in the saddle.
At Apex Rehab Solutions, we work hard to ensure the highest quality of resident care through a targeted combination of rehab services. Partner with us today by calling (412) 963-9698.