Fall Risk Program & Conditioning Program
For older adults, falls are one of the greatest causes of serious health problems. Studies show that approximately 5% of falls by older adults result in a fracture: 25% of patients over the age of 65 with hip fractures die within six months, 25% lose significant function, and 50% experience a decrease in mobility.
Entry into the Program
A patient will need a doctor's referral based on increased risk due to age, history, medication changes, muscle changes, degenerative joing disease, post arthroplasty or osteoporosis, or on the basis of a balance screening.
A structured program that consists of eight visits over a four-week period. The patient is evaluated for specific risk factors known to contribute to falling and decreased mobility.
- Self-Assessment of General Health
- Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
- Lower Body Strength
- Balance Test
- Aerobic Endurance Test
Review Results and Recommended Exercise Programs
The test results from the evaluation are reviewed with you. We will advise if you are at risk of falling and, if you are, why. If the cause is physical, such as poor strength and balance, we will plan an exercise program customized for you. We will also help you identify and eliminate environmental factors that you may find at home or in your community.
- In-Clinic Exercise - Targeted to improve:
- Strength, balance, walking speed, step length, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness.
- Home Exercise
- Instruction for simple exercises that can be done at home.
A report is provided to you and your referring physician summarizing the effect of the four week program. Your physician may recommend continued structured exercise to address specific problems.
Most insurance plans, including Medicare, cover assessment and conditioning for fall programs. For further information, speak with your doctor, physical therapist or insurance agent.
Hazards at Home
Quite often the cause of a fall can be right in your own home and is easily corrected. Simple changes may reduce the risk. Below is a list of some of the risk factors which may exist in your home.
- Poor lighting
- Slippery floors
- Uneven floors
- Throw rugs
- Curled carpet edges
- Electric or telephone wires in walking areas
- Small objects in pathways
- Unstable seating - swivel chairs or chairs on casters
- Belongings left in walkways
- Newspapers left on the floor
- Laundry left on the floor
- Cleaning products with slippery surfaces
- Missing light switches at top/bottom of steps
- Unsturdy handrails
- Uneven steps/steps needing repair
- Items placed on stairs
- Unstable step stool
- Storage areas that require excessive reaching
- Appliances arranged inefficiently
- Unstable seating
- Wet floors
- Lack of grab bars in shower/tub
- Lack of non-skid surfaces in shower/tub
- Wobbly or low to the floor toliets
- Unstable towel rack or sink
- Wet floors
- Walkways in disrepair
- Wet smooth surfaces, i.e. slate
- Cluttered walkways/storage areas
- Poor night lighting
- Poor placement of trash/recycle bins
- Garden hose across walkways
- Children's toys
- Pet toys and leashes
- High curbs