By: Dr. Beth Templin
About a month ago, I had the pleasure of being admitted to the hospital through the Emergency Room for removal of my gallbladder. Being hospitalized was an adventure and it provided me with some very good learning experiences. I want to share one of those with you today.
I was classified as a FALL RISK! I had to wear a red FALL RISK wrist band and there was a big red sticker on the outside of my hospital room door classifying me as such.
What?? How did this happen?? I am a physical therapist, who is in good health and physically active. I even specialize in working with people to improve their balance to try to avoid falls. What did they see in me that made them consider me a fall risk?
The answer is medication. While I was in the Emergency Room, they gave me medication to manage my pain. This is what triggered the hospital to classify me as being at risk for a fall.
It got me thinking. What other things would have classified me as being at risk? The following are a list of 10 questions adapted from the Missouri Alliance for Home Care, which can be used as a screening tool. All can be answered "yes" or "no".
If you answered yes to 4 or more of the questions, then you are at risk for a fall. Are you surprised by your results? Were you surprised by any of the qualifying criteria?
I think it's important to be aware of all of the different things that put you at risk for a fall. Some are definitely more obvious than others and some are modifiable while others are not.
For example, physical therapy can assist with pain management and with helping to keep you independent with moving around your home. Simple changes can be made to your home to make it safer and easier for you to get around. We can also work with you on improving your balance to decrease the number of falls you are having.
Have you been worrying about your balance? Have you been putting off asking for help? Don't put it off any longer. Let our team of experts help you to decrease your risk of falling and rebuild your confidence!
Dr. Beth helps adults 55+ maximize their independence and fitness, so they can continue to enjoy a full and active life.