Help available for seniors who struggle with balance

Older Arkansans may think losing your balance and even falling are just a part of getting older, but, what if you could reduce your risk by improving your balance?

Even after 77-year-old Marbalene Armstrong had surgery for a brain aneurysm, she had problems with her balance. She found herself needing to hold onto something when she walked. So, her doctor prescribed physical therapy. Ms. Armstrong went, reluctantly.

"The first couple of weeks, were OK. Then, all of a sudden, the third week, it was like waking up from a sleep," Armstrong said.

She says she's no longer staggering when she walks around her house. Now, she is walking straight, and the benefits went far beyond that.

"I like to get dressed up with high heel shoes on. I couldn't wear my high heel shoes," she said.

Health professionals say a{}1/3 of{}all Americans over 65 will fall this year.

"They can sustain a major injury from that. So a lot of what we do in therapy is teach them how to recover. So that way they can prevent a fall," said Coral Robison, a DPT at Baptist Health Therapy Center.

Ms. Armstrong is a believer in therapy now, and has a message for her fellow Arkansans.

"If you're doctor tells you that you need to get some therapy. Take it. It will make all the difference in the world."

Robison says therapy can reduce the risk of falling by 18%, and reduces the average number of falls by 43%.