As a Physical or Occupational Therapist working with folks in their homes, we talk about falls on a daily basis. We talk about the causes, the risk factors, the consequences, and how to prevent them. This is a good approach; however, we are often talking to people who have had a fall (or two...) and understand what it feels like! What would be great is if we had a global understanding of what falls are and how to identify risk factors and causes prior to them happening!
Falls are in fact when someone hits the ground! This is the general definition out there.
But... That is NOT all! When I talk about falls, I ask two questions:
Have you fallen recently?
Have you had any close calls?
A fall is not only when someone hits the ground, but also an unexpected movement when you end up somewhere you didn’t plan. This includes chairs, couches, beds, counters, etc... While some may call that lucky, it is still in fact a fall!
Next, it would be great if we had a set list of things to look at to determine fall risk! Unfortunately, this is far from the case! I have read: “Fall Risk Assessment: Uses Walker”. Falls are caused by so many factors, some physical, some mental, some medicinal, and some from a whole boat load of other reasons. The fact of the matter is that no SINGLE approach is perfect! This is why we need to take a look at the big picture... the WHOLE person!
While taking a look at the whole person can tell us so much, it is as good as taking an MRI of someone on their back who has pain in sitting and standing (Another topic for another day!)! As folks have more and more risk factors, having repeated follow-ups on a regular schedule to assess changes can prove to be a huge game changer for their well-being and quality of life! Waiting 6 months or a year for the next risk assessment may very well be too late!
If you, your friend, or your family member have had a fall or are fearful of falling, getting a thorough assessment could be key to improving confidence, figuring our what areas are lacking, and putting a plan in place to correct them! A true fall risk assessment includes more than just vital signs or walking. At Full Range, we offer a complimentary balance screening and vital sign screening! Additionally, we offer our Full Range Fall Assessment and Therapy Care Management! Each of these programs are designed with the WHOLE person in mind! Interested, give us a call today to learn more!
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