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Neurologic/Geriatric>>Prevention of Falls in the Elderly - 1/5/2007

Epidemiology:

·          Leading cause of injury-related visits to the ER in persons over the age of 65 years old.

·         In 1996, more than 250,000 older Americans suffered fracture hips at a cost of $10 billion.

 

Risk Factors:

·          Older age (especially > 75 years)

·          Use of an assistive device

·          Chronic Neuromuscular Conditions such as Parkinsons disease, Stroke, etc.

·          Medications (Especially the use of four or more prescription drugs)

·          Previous Fall History

·          Reduced Vision

·          Environmental Hazards

·          Deconditioned state/Generalized Weakness

 

Common Causes of Falls:

·          Gait disturbance, balance disorders, weakness, pain related to arthritis

·          Medications or alcohol

·          Acute illness

·          Postural Hyoptension

·          Visual disorder

·          Accident, environmental hazard

·         Central Nervous System disorder

 

Prevention/Interventions

·          *Physical Therapy:

1.       Studies show that strength and balance training for the Elderly lowers risk for falling.

2.       Home Safety Assessment

3.       Gait Training

·          Review of Medications

 

Kevin Lockette, President of Ohana Pacific Rehab Services

Kevin has been practicing as a physical therapist in the physical rehabilitation field since 1989. Kevin was a recent (2000) president of HAPTA (Hawaii Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association) and the primary author of a medical text on rehabilitation, Conditioning with Physical Disabilities, Human Kinetic Publishers 1994. Kevin has extensive experience in acute rehabilitation and is the founder of what is now the nation's largest wellness program for individuals with physical disabilities at the renown Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He is also on the research/practice panel for The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD), which is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kevin is a past head coach for the United States Disabled Sports Team (A member of the US Olympic Committee) and coached in International games including the World Championships and the Paralympics in Barcelona, Spain in 1992. Newly elected to the 2002 Board of Directors for the Brain Injury Association - HI chapter.

 

*Physical Therapy for balance, gait and fall risks is a covered service for Medicare and most Major Medical Plans

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