Dealing with the risks of falling with Fanny Fontaine

24 Oct 2022

In this episode of Mintt Academy, Fanny Fontaine, Physiotherapist from the Jolimont group tells you more about how to deal with the risks of falling.

Residents live with the risk of falling and our job, as physiotherapists, is to give them the tools to react quickly and efficiently in the event of a fall.

The first thing to do when you are on the ground is to react according to the pain you feel.  If the pain is too great, you should avoid putting your weight on your legs or arms. If you feel able to do so, in the position you are in, you should try to rotate from this position to the side. Then, roll onto your stomach, rest on your knees and, possibly, get on all fours to reach a piece of furniture on which you can lean and stand up if you are able to do so. If not, remain on all fours and try to gain access to a means of communication to call for help.

To make it easier for residents to get up from a fall, we offer them muscle strengthening routines that focus on the triceps and quadriceps. Muscles can be strengthened through physiotherapy sessions or balance workshops. Residents can be given the opportunity to pick up objects from the floor in a playful way. In this way they can work on the sit-to-stand position. We avoid putting them on the ground because it is complicated for them, but we give them all the advice they need to get up from a fall.

We also provide them with information leaflets so that they have a close look at their environment in the rooms. It's up to us to see if the furniture is "in the right place so that it doesn't cause a fall."

Confidence is a key factor when it comes to the fear of falling. This has a big influence on the risk of falling among the elderly. We try to work on this and to adjust our training according to their self-confidence and body image. We will first check whether the residents we work with have too little self-confidence what image they have of their body. Then, we can adjust the techniques over time according to their ability to assess the danger they are facing.

And we can then stage a whole range of drills tailored to the residents, to their self-confidence, to their fear of falling, to the image they have of their body in the environment and to any muscular deficits.