Fall Prevention Austin



Statement of Purpose

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.

Statement of Services

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:

  • a resource center
  • a connection to professionals trained in fall risk identification and other services

Disclaimer

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.

Clearinghouse Registry

Click the button below to complete the Fall Prevention registration form.

Register Now

 

 

Statement of Concern

“Every 20 minutes an older adult dies from a fall in the United States”
U.S. Centers for Disease Control
  • One out of three adults over age 65 fall each year…and less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it. Two-thirds of those that fall will fall again within a year
  • Five in ten seniors that fall have difficulty getting up without help after they have fallen
  • One in ten seniors that fall suffer a serious injury such as a broken bone or a head injury
  • Falls cause over 90% of broken hips – only half of those that suffer a broken hip will get around like they did before the fall
  • By the year 2050, it is expected that 1800 hip fractures a day – data suggests that only 25% will make a full recovery, 25% will die and 40% will need a nursing home. Fifty percent will use a cane or walker
  • Falls are the number one reason seniors for Emergency Room use
  • Seven percent of ALL hospitalizations are for fall-related injuries
  • 20% of hospitalized seniors fall within the first 30 days at home; most fall within two weeks of the hospital stay
  • The direct medical costs for fatal and nonfatal fall-related injuries for community dwelling seniors was $19.2 billion in the year 2000. It is estimated to reach $54.9 billion by the year 2020

 

Good News- Almost Half of Falls are Preventable

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

6. Education

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.

 

Self-Assessment and Self-Awareness

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.

 

Guest Blog

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 in the Austin area 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

 

BALANCE

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO0gxu03WCs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4okjAxDvnU

For more information on balance disorders and fall prevention visit www.360Balance.com and click in News and Resources.


LOCAL RESOURCES

AGE of Central Texas
www.ageofcentraltexas.org
512-451-4611
Austin Fall prevention workshops and annual conference

360 Balance
www.360Balance.com
512-345-4664
Balance, vestibular and hearing screening, therapy and consultation

Aging is Cool
Agingiscool2@gmail.com 

Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area
www.capcog.org
512-916-6062
A Matter of Balance classes

EMS Community Outreach
EMSFallPrevention@austintx.gov
Free home safety assessments

Texas Fall Prevention Coalition
www.fallsfreetx.org
Annual conference

Home Therapy of Austin, LLC
512-637-1550
Safe Steps for Seniorssm
Comprehensive fall risk assessment and prevention services

NATIONAL RESOURCES

www.stopfalls.org

www.safeaging.org

www.ncoa.org/healthy-aging/falls-prevention

www.homemods.org

www.fallprevention.org

www.mayoclinic.com

www.caremedical.com/documents/Fall PreventionGuide.pdf

www.aaos.org

www.cdc.gov/Injury/STEADI

 

Community Announcements

Please revisit the Clearinghouse site often for additional and updated information. To talk with someone about your concerns to stay independent and fall prevention in Austin call us at Home Therapy – 512-637-1550.

ARTICLES

  1. Seniors and Fall Related Concussions Amy Potter 23-Sep-2016