To ensure fall victims can return to living as independently as possible, we must teach them to combat the fear of falling, Long-Term LivingMagazine recently reported. “One of the biggest impacts of falling can’t be detected on an X-ray: The fear of falling again,” said Pamela Tabar.

Though the fear of falling again is often legitimate, fall anxiety detracts from seniors’ sense of control and may cause patients to unnecessarily restrict movement and social interaction. In fact, some seniors use assistive walking devices for psychological security rather than medical necessity, thereby physically weakening the limbs.

Experts suggest three basic strategies for seniors to cope with the fear of falling: identifying what most scares them, maintaining good balance and empowering themselves to take charge of the situation.

It is important that therapists are mindful of this impact as seniors return to independent living. By addressing patients’ worries about falling, therapists can work with individuals to maximize their ability to live confidently and actively after treatment. RehabCare provides our patients with materials about falls prevention upon discharge.

By Margaret Schmidt