Success Story – Reduce Fall Risk and Regain Independence with Physical Therapy 

Engage $ Success Story – Reduce Fall Risk and Regain Independence with Physical Therapy 

By: Jessica Plante, PT, DPT 

I had the privilege of working with an incredible patient during my early years as a geriatric physical therapist. When we first met, she would often dismiss her falls as a natural part of aging, saying “it’s a part of aging sweetie.” Determined to make a difference, I embarked on a comprehensive approach to help her reduce her fall risk and regain her independence.  

We started by educating her about fall risk factors and discussing the importance of home safety. Together, we evaluated her living environment and made necessary adaptations to minimize hazards and create a safer space. With a tailored physical therapy plan of care, we focused on improving her strength, balance, and overall mobility. Over time, I witnessed a remarkable transformation in this wonderfully spirited 87-year-old. She regained her confidence and conquered her fear of falling. Not only did she become steadier on her feet, but she also experienced a newfound sense of freedom. One of our proudest moments was when she shared with me that she was able to return to hiking with her daughter and granddaughter. This activity had always brought her immense joy but due to her previous falls she had reluctantly given it up. Now she could once again enjoy the great outdoors without the constant worry of losing her balance. Not only did her physical improvements allow her to participate in activities she loved, but they also had a significant impact on her living situation. The wellness director, who had previously expressed concerns about her ability to remain in her independent living apartment saw the remarkable progress she had made. Thanks to our collaborative efforts, she was able to stay in her familiar home rather than being relocated to an assisted living.  

This patient’s success story became a catalyst for my passion in improving fall prevention strategies within senior communities. It reinforced the importance of education, personalized care, and empowering seniors to take control of their own well-being. Every success story like hers reminds me of the profound impact physical therapists have on their patients. By focusing on falls prevention, we can help older adults maintain their independence, optimize their quality of life, and defy the misconception that falls are an inevitable part of aging.