Jill Patterson is joining the Center for Aging and Caregiver Services to provide Fall Prevention services to our older adult clients. She has been a licensed Occupational Therapist for more than 20 years and has specialized in geriatrics throughout her career. Jill will be able to assess and implement home safety modifications and equipment recommendations to decrease the potential for falls in the home. She can also provide a home exercise program to improve an individual’s strength, flexibility, and balance. Her role is to help our clients live more safely in their homes.
As people age their risk of falling rises, however falls are not inevitable. According to the CDC, more than one in four adults will sustain a fall and falling once doubles your chances of falling again. Annually, more than 3 million older adults will visit the ER due to a fall, resulting in serious injury or even death. There are several factors that contribute to falls including changes in physical condition, such as weakness, mobility and balance impairments, decreased sensation and vision, and even changes in cognition. Medications and side effects from medications may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or confusion. Fear of falling can also contribute to a higher risk of falling as people may become more sedentary. Safety hazards and unsafe behaviors in the home can also increase fall risk.
One of the best things you can do to prevent falls is to keep moving! Stay active and participate in an exercise program designed for your abilities. A thorough assessment should also be done to identify general safety concerns and specific room-related hazards in the home. There are several simple measures that people can implement in their home to decrease their fall risk.
Keep your pathways clear and clutter free to decrease the risk of tripping.
Remove or secure any area or throw rugs.
Install grab bars and handrails to assist with transfers and use of stairs.
Keep frequently used items within easy reach.
Ensure you have adequate lighting for tasks and use a nightlight at night.
Wear appropriate footwear.
Consider equipment to use for seated showers, raised toilet seats, etc.
Remember that most falls can be prevented, and we can help to reduce your risk. If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about our Center for Aging and Caregiver Services along with Occupational Therapy services, please visit our website: www.jfssv.org.