Columbus Dispatch: Seniors Learn to Improve Their Balance, Strength to Prevent Falls
Life can change in an instant. For an older adult who has fallen and suffered a serious injury, this can speed up the aging process, and affect their confidence, altering the way they live their everyday life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of death amongst folks aged 65 years or older.
Anne Goodman, MPH, injury prevention program manager at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, said many of the falls that she sees come into the emergency department are from at home accidents.
“They have slipped in the bathtub or the shower, tripped over rugs or even tripped over their pets,” Goodman said.
Her job is to focus on fall prevention before they have encountered a fall. Through fall prevention programs, Matter of Balance and Stepping On, older adults can come and get rehabilitation services from previous injuries or learn how to prevent a fall from occurring.
“We do a lot of cognitive restructuring where we try to work with the older adults to shift their mind from that negative standpoint of ‘if I do this I’m going to fall or if I do that I might fall’ our role is to really help them restructure how they think,” Goodman said.
Falls amongst older adults can also be prevented with the help of their loved ones.
Having a conversation and taking steps to make the environment around them safer, can help keep older adults out of the Emergency Department from fall-related injuries.
“Sometimes, acts as simple as removing throw rugs, installing grab bars in areas beyond the bathroom, and improving lighting can make homes more age-friendly,” Goodman told the Columbus Dispatch.
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