Falls occur unexpectedly at any time, often resulting in broken bones or other serious injuries. Such accidents happen to those of all ages while at home, at work, or when playing sports. For many individuals, inpatient rehab is required for injuries after a fall. Depending on the extent of the damage, recovery could take weeks, months, or even years, while some individuals never fully heal.
Restorative therapies are essential for recovery from fall injuries and include a few options, depending on the damage. Physical therapy is often most recommended to help regain strength, balance, and mobility, while occupational therapy increases independence. Those requiring wheelchairs after a fall may need specialized treatment to get them back on their feet.
Rehab For Injuries After a Fall
Several issues may arise due to injuries from a fall. The correct rehab treats several of these in various ways.
Restore mobility – After an injury, movement is often painful, resulting in a sedentary behavior. Unfortunately, the result is stiffness in the muscles and joints. Rehab, particularly physical therapy, includes exercises to counter these issues. These exercises improve range of motion, flexibility, and strength to increase mobility and reduce the need for assistive devices.
Balance and coordination – After a fall, injuries may reduce balance and coordination. As well as making it difficult to move about, such issues also increase the chances of future falls. Rehab often includes assistive devices to help individuals maintain their balance when on their feet. Specialized exercises strengthen the body to improve balance and coordination, making movement easy and safer.
Functional independence – Fall injuries are often severe, reducing an individual’s ability to care for themselves. The goal of rehab for injuries after a fall is to regain the functions previously had before the accident.
Physical therapy helps build muscle and improve flexibility and range of motion. Occupational therapy shows individuals ways to perform daily tasks in new ways to regain independence. A trained professional also checks the home to ensure it is safe to return home to. This includes removing obstacles and hazards to prevent future falls.
Complication prevention – Falls cause several injuries, including bruises, fractures, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries. Some complications may also arise from the fall.
Depending on the damage, individuals may experience impaired hearing, vision, mobility, or sensations. Chronic pain, muscle weakness, seizures, or headaches are possible complications. Rehab therapies are designed to manage and reduce such issues for a faster recovery and better quality of life.
How long does it take for seniors to recover from a fall?
According to the CDC, 1 in 4 seniors fall every year, causing serious bone breaks or head injuries. Such falls most often cause hip fractures or traumatic head injuries, requiring hospitalization for initial treatment. The recovery time varies, depending on the extent of the damage. For some individuals, healing takes several months or longer, while others never fully recover.
To improve the results, rehab for delayed healing is often recommended for seniors. Neurological and cognitive issues are often reported, requiring specialized treatment. Physical, occupational, and speech therapies are also vital to help these individuals regain their functions.