More than one out of every four older adults experience a fall each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falling once nearly doubles your chances of falling again. Many people who fall, even if the fall does not result in injury, become afraid of falling. This fear may cause a person to abstain from everyday activities; and when a person is less active, they become weaker, which increases their risk of falling.
Ask your doctor or healthcare provider to EVALUATE YOUR RISK OF FALLING and talk with them about specific actions you can take to prevent falls. Have your doctor or pharmacist REVIEW YOUR MEDICATIONS, including prescription and over-the-counter medications. Ask your doctor or healthcare provider about taking VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENTS. Also, have your VISION AND HEARING checked annually by a professional.
For more information and resources, please visit SanDiegoFallPrevention.Org and refer to the organizations and tools listed below.
San Diego Fall Prevention Task Force: The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Aging & Independence Services coordinates the San Diego Fall Prevention Task Force. The Task Force includes older adults and service providers. The Central and North County chapters meet monthly. The Task Force’s mission is to reduce falls and their devastating consequences. Click here for more information about the Task Force and how to get involved.
Fall-Prevention Online Resource Guide : View the Fall Prevention Resource Guide to learn about San Diego community agencies that provide fall prevention services such as physical therapy and vestibular rehabilitation (a specialized physical therapy to improve balance and reduce problems related to dizziness).
National Council on Aging (NCOA): The NCOA’s National Falls Prevention Resource Center supports the implementation of evidence-based falls prevention programs and serves as a national clearinghouse of tools and best practices. Explore materials related to falls prevention in their Resources Library.
Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Code Flyer: A barrier to delivery of falls risk assessments in clinical settings is the lack of a dedicated Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code for this service. However, providers are able to counsel their patients regarding falls risk and bill payers using existing Evaluation and Management (E/M) CPT codes. This resource provides detail on which CPT codes to use for falls assessment and intervention
The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP)-NCOA Falls Risk Reduction Toolkit: The toolkit guides the clinician through a more comprehensive assessment of falls risk inducing medications and medical conditions. Given that medications and chronic conditions are often implicated as a risk factor for falling, the role of the pharmacist in falls risk reduction is emphasized.
Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries (STEADI) Initiative: This initiative, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), consists of three core elements: Screen, Assess, and Intervene, to reduce fall risk by giving older adults tailored interventions.Tool Spotlight:
STEADI Materials for Healthcare Providers: As a healthcare provider, you are already aware that falls are a serious threat to the health and well-being of your older patients. You play an important role in caring for older adults, and you can help reduce these devastating injuries. The STEADI toolkit includes medication review forms, functional assessments, and other clinical tools that you can utilize in your practice.
American Geriatrics Society: The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a nationwide, not-for-profit society of geriatrics healthcare professionals dedicated to improving the health, independence, and quality of life of older people. Their nearly 6,000 members include geriatricians, geriatric nurses, social workers, family practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and internists.
2015 Updated Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use: The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) released its second updated and expanded Beers Criteria® list of potentially inappropriate medications for older adults. This is one of the most frequently cited reference tools in the field of geriatrics. Beers Criteria potentially inappropriate medications (or PIMs) have been found to be associated with poor health outcomes, such as confusion, falls, and mortality. *Please note: to access this FREE content, you must register as a GeriatricsCareOnline.org user.
MoveForward PT: MoveForwardPT.com is the official consumer information website of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). APTA seeks to improve the health and quality of life of individuals in society by advancing physical therapist practice, education, and research, and by increasing the awareness and understanding of physical therapy’s role in the nation’s healthcare system.Tool Spotlight:
Physical Therapist’s Guide to Falls: Learn more about the role of physical therapists in fall risk assessment and treatment.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 198,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students.
Audiology Information Series – Preventing Falls: This handout highlights the importance of having your hearing checked, and lists environmental and health-related issues that put someone at risk for falling