September 2012

Resources for reducing falls among aging population

Did you know falls are the leading cause of fatal injury among older adults? In fact, one third of Americans 65 years and older fall each year. Falls can result in brain injury or hip fractures that necessitate admission to a long-term care facility, and one in 10 falls in older adults results in a broken bone. However, through education, intervention and lifestyle change, the occurrence of falls among the aging population can be reduced.

As Sept. 22 marked National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) reached out to the community with resources to educate and empower area residents on falls risk and prevention. Click here for a flier that educates patients on how to prevent falls.

Earlier this month, NCH held a Fall Risk Screening Clinic at the Outpatient Center in Rolling Meadows where physical therapists offered free assessments to residents concerned about their falls risk. Click here for a flier promoting the next Fall Risk Screening Clinic in December.

In addition, the following NCH services may be appropriate to refer your patients who are prone to falls. To learn more about these services and how they can assist your patients, please call the appropriate contact noted below.

The Wellness Center

Tania Hills, Group Exercise coordinator, 847.618.3513

Services include, but are not limited to: Independent Exercise, Group Exercise, Special Programs and Personal Training.

Physical Rehabilitative Services (PRS)

Karen McCauley, director of PRS, 847.618.3560

Services require a physician order and include a wide variety of programs including, but not limited to: Gait and Balance Training, Vestibular [inner ear/balance], Pelvic Floor and Low Vision Therapy.

NCH Home Care Services

NCH Home Care Services main number, 847.618.7800

Services require a doctor's order. NCH Home Care nursing staff performs head-to-toe assessments with a focus on fall risks and medication management. NCH Home Care therapists perform balance and gait assessments along with a home safety review in coordination with the ordering physician, among other home healthcare services.