The purpose of this website and the Clearinghouse services offered is to provide seniors and those that care about them with a mechanism to obtain information, assistance and resources that support the prevention of falls.
Individuals, ages 65 and older, family members, health care professionals and senior advocates concerned about falls can register on a dedicated form to receive a fall prevention self-assessment and specific information of interest. Further, general information, notification of training opportunities and additional resources are available through this site.
The Clearinghouse is:
The contents of this website are intended as information only. Users should seek the advice of their physician or other medical professional before taking any action related to the information presented. The information herein is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Click the button below to complete the Fall Prevention registration form.Register Now
According to a Journal of Aging Science 2014 Editorial, research indicates the following have some empirical support for reducing falls.
1. A comprehensive, multifactorial risk assessment and management plan
2. An individualized treatment plan
3. Anti-slip shoe devices and multifaceted podiatry to patients with specific foot issues
4. First eye cataract surgery and pacemakers in patients with cardio-inhibitory carotid sinus hypersensitivity
5. Exercise, muscle strength training, endurance building exercises, balance training
7. Home safety inspection and home modifications
8. Vitamin D supplementation
9. Withdrawal of psychotropic medications
10. Target individuals with mobility problems, co-morbid conditions or multiple pathologies, previous fallers, adults over the age of 80, those who are depressed or have dementia, those with impaired vision, those who are weak and frail, those taking diuretics, sedatives, narcotics, psychotropic antihypertensive drugs, potential for improvements physically, mentally and financially.
Even though a particular fall may have a specific cause (slipping on a wet surface), there are multiple factors that place a person at risk or at higher risk of falling. If falls are to be successfully prevented, recognizing and identifying those factors are the first prevention step. A comprehensive self-assessment can be received by registering above for the Clearinghouse. A modified self-assessment follows:
___I am over age 75 years
___I take four or more medications
___I have a fear of falling
___I have fallen in the past year
___I use a cane, walker wheelchair or other device to get around
___I lack strength
___I feel unsteady when I walk or climb stairs
___I often feel dizzy
___I have high or low blood pressure
___I have hearing loss
___I have loss of vision or low vision
___I have pain/burning in my feet, corns or other foot concerns
___I am forgetful
___I live alone
___I sometimes do things for myself that would be safer if someone else did them
___I have at least one chronic condition (diabetes, CHF, COPD, urinary incontinence, sleep disorder, history of stroke or other neurological condition)
___I am sometimes depressed
All of the above are fall risk factors. The more factors you checked the greater your risk.
Your first step towards preventing a fall is to talk to your physician.
HOME SAFETY ASSESSMENT
Most falls happen in the home. Approximately 60% of falls among seniors happen in the home and of those falls 50% happen in the bedroom and bathroom. While a home safety assessment, by itself, has not been found to prevent falls it is important that every effort is made to eliminate safety hazards and maximize safety precautions. Therefore, it is recommended that every senior interested in fall prevention include a home safety assessment as a part of his/her actions.
The Gerontological Enviornmental Modifications (GEM Enviornmental Assessment) “is a comprehensive home assessment tool that identifies problems and possible solutions for each room in the dwelling unit as well as the immediate outdoor area.” The assessment was developed with foundation funding by the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology at Cornell University. The Assessment can be found at www.bhps.org.uk/falls/documents/Medicn&RiskofFalls.pdf
As individuals age, sensory functioning declines which negatively impacts balance. The loss of balance is a leading cause of falls among older adults. There are two types of balance 1) Static balance – the ability to control postural sway while standing and 2) Dynamic balance – maintaining balance while walking and moving.
There are simple balance exercises that can help restore balance. Some examples are found on this YouTube.
For more information on balance disorders and fall prevention visit www.360Balance.com and click in News and Resources.
AGE of Central Texas
Fall prevention workshops and annual conference
Balance, vestibular and hearing screening, therapy and consultation
Aging is Cool
Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area
A Matter of Balance classes
EMS Community Outreach
Free home safety assessments
Texas Fall Prevention Coalition
Home Therapy of Austin, LLC
Safe Steps for Seniorssm
Comprehensive fall risk assessment and prevention services
Please revisit the Clearinghouse site often for additional and updated information. To talk with someone about your concerns to stay independent and free from falls call us at Home Therapy – 512-637-1550.