Fall Prevention

June 04, 2012

As we age, we experience changes in our health and physical conditions.  Sometimes medications can treat our symptoms, but one of the best ways of avoiding falls is by exercising.  

On Wednesday, June 20, Arthur Vasanth, MPT, DPT, a physical therapist in the Bronson Battle Creek rehabilitation department, will talk at Burnham Brook Center about the importance of balance and exercise to avoid falls.  His one-hour talk, which is free to the public, is sponsored through Senior Health Partners in coordination with Bronson Battle Creek.  A light lunch will be provided beginning at 11:30 a.m. followed by his presentation at noon.  Seating is limited.  For reservations call toll free 1-877-462-2247.

Falls are one of the most common geriatric syndromes threatening the independence of older persons. Between 30 and 40 percent of adults older than 65 years fall each year.  Most falls have multiple causes. Risk factors include muscle weakness, a history of falls, use of four or more prescription medications, use of an assistive device, arthritis, depression, age older than 80 years, and impairments in gait, balance, cognition, vision, and activities of daily living. 

Approximately 25 percent of older adults who fall suffer serious injuries such as hip fractures and head trauma. Recovery from falls often is complicated by poor quality of life caused by restricted mobility, functional decline, and increased risk for nursing home placement. Self-imposed functional limitations due to the fear of falling can cause post-fall anxiety syndrome. This can lead to depression, feelings of helplessness, and social isolation

There are several things you can do to reduce your chances of falling.  First, make an appointment with your healthcare provider for an assessment.  Discuss the medications you are taking and the types of exercises in which you participate.  

Second, unless told otherwise, continue moving.  Even if you walk a short distance each day and then sit to rest, keep moving.  Do not let the fear of falling keep you from your daily lifestyles.  Exercising is one of the best medicines for staying young.


Third, wear shoes that are not worn.  Many people complain about having sore feet, but fail to realize that their footwear may be causing the discomfort.  If you have too many miles on your shoes, it might be time to trade them in for some new ones.  Worn out shoes can cause more harm than good.

Fourth, look around your home and remove obstacles that might cause you to trip and fall.  Have someone help you move some of your furniture so your pathways are wider, and make certain that you keep thing off your steps so you don’t trip.  Be careful about rugs too, a turned up end or wrinkle is a definite safety hazard.

Finally keep your home, inside and out, well lit.  There are too many instances in which people don’t see something, especially after dark, because of dim or poor lighting.  

These and other topics will be discussed on June 20 at Burnham Brook.  Remember, when you see the sign that says, “Watch for falling objects,” make certain you’re not one of them,

Senior Health Partners, a community partnership of Bronson Battle Creek, CentraCare, Region 3B Area Agency on Aging, and Summit Pointe, works to expand wellness and educational offerings to senior citizens in Calhoun and surrounding counties.  

Battle Creek Health System, now proudly serving southwest Michigan as Bronson Battle Creek, is a 218-bed hospital that provides full outpatient and inpatient acute care including robotic surgery, diagnostics, and rehabilitation services; 100% all private rooms.  It also offers world-class diagnostic capabilities including PET/CT imaging, freestanding ‘open’ and traditional MRI, CT (16- and 64-slice), and 3.0 Tesla MRI.  Bronson Battle Creek has been recognized nationally as one of the safest hospitals, and has been a leader in the development of electronic health records as evidenced by multiple honors as one of America’s ‘most wired’ and ‘most wireless’ hospitals. The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons recognizes the Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Program, and the only hospital in Michigan to receive the CoC’s Outstanding Achievement Award three times in a row. Specialty services include the county’s largest accredited sleep center and a wound-healing center with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.


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