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Seniors Balance and Dizziness Program

One of the most prevalent concerns with aging is an increasing number of falls and complaints of dizziness in the older adult. Dizziness is the number one reason people over the age of 65 visit their primary care physician and 1 in 3 seniors will experience a fall each year. Older adults can experience dizziness for a variety of reasons and often have a difficult time describing their symptoms. As we age, dizziness and balance difficulties become greater and contribute to issues with mobility and lifestyle. Identifying those at high risk of falling and the contributing factors and then making the necessary adjustments to in lifestyle, environment, assistive devices and health management can greatly reduce the risk of falling and improve independence and quality of life. 

The physiotherapists at the Atlantic Balance and Dizziness Centre have established a Seniors Balance and Dizziness Program to assess the older adult. A thorough assessment is carried out that includes testing range of motion, strength, posture, walking and balance, as well as a detailed vestibular and neurological exam.

Treatment may include:

  • range of motion and strength exercises
  • balance exercises
  • motion desensitization exercises
  • general fitness training
  • pain management
  • eye tracking exercises

We will also look at other areas including: 

  • footwear
  • home environment
  • assistive devices
  • vision
  • hearing

Coordination with local services and programs, as well as family members and caregivers will be an integral part of the follow up plan. 

Home visits are available to assess the person in their own environment. 

We recognize the need to be proactive in healthcare and assisting individuals in maximizing their function and safety. 

Research has shown that vestibular rehabilitation significantly reduces the risk of falls in elderly at-risk patient (Berg Balance Scale 36.8 to 46.4). One in ten seniors will test positive for positional vertigo even if there are no complaints of dizziness. Positional vertigo is a risk factor for falls in the seniors population. 

Our physiotherapists have advanced vestibular rehabilitation training, numerous post-graduate courses in neurological rehabilitation and experience working with seniors in both hospital and community settings. This expertise provides a comprehensive approach to the assessment and successful management of these at risk individuals.