Falls among adults aged 65 and older are very common but also very preventable. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older adults.
In 2015 alone more than one in four adults reported falling and over 28,000 died as a result. The CDC started the STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries) initiative as a guide for patients and healthcare workers to help to address this problem before it occurs.
Capstone Physical Therapy and Fitness provides treatment programs to help seniors avoid falls and also treats patients who have recovered from a fall and want to take the necessary steps to avoid subsequent falls.
Mark Donathan and Brian Kirby evaluate each patient’s strength, balance, flexibility and endurance in addition to determining other potential risk factors, such as medical history and home environment.
The result is a customized plan involving balance training, home exercise instruction and training with the most appropriate walking device.
Many times a patient will require the use of a walker or cane but is resistant to the idea. Mark and Brian work with the patient and family’s goals to help them with the transition to the use of a device when needed and off of the device when possible.
One simple screening tool that anyone can do is called the TUG (timed up and go). NOTE: ALWAYS STAND BY THE PATIENT FOR SAFEY.
Instructions. When I say “GO”:
- Stand up from the chair.
- Walk to a line on the floor (10 feet away) at your normal pace.
- Walk back to the chair at your normal pace.
- Sit down again.
An older adult who takes ≥ 12 seconds to complete the TUG is at risk for falling.
To schedule an evaluation, call 215-677-1149.
PHOTO CAP: Brian Kirby works on standing balance with Ellen Murray of Falls Township Senior Center.