Program aims at helping elderly prevent falls

Stephanie Stapleton, ATC demonstrates a single-leg stance test during a Fall Risk Assessment as Patrick Rothschadl, ATC assesses her static postural and balance control.

Special to the Times-Georgian

A west Georgia physical therapy center has launched an initiative centering on reducing the risks of falls by the community’s older population.

The program, “Fight the Fall,” is being conducted by Southern Therapy Services, and coincides with the National Council on Aging’s Falls Prevention Awareness Week, which is Sept. 21-25.

Southern Therapy is a physical therapy, balance, dizziness, and healthy lifestyle practice with locations in Carrollton, Bremen, and Villa Rica.

During National Fall Prevention Awareness Week, the practice will provide free personal fall-risk screenings to help patients identify compromises in balance, flexibility, and strength that make them more susceptible to falls. The company will also host a free Fall Prevention Workshop during the first day of the fall season. The workshop is open to the public, at their 812 South Park St. location on Tuesday, September 22nd from noon to 1 p.m.

The following are other key statistics provided by the National Council on Aging and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

• Nearly all hip fractures are caused by falls, and 53% of adults discharged for a fall related hip fracture will fall again within six months.

• Falls account for 40% of all nursing home admissions.

• Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the ER for a fall.

• Every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four Americans ages 65 and older will experience a fall each year. In fact, falls are the leading cause of both fatal injury and nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. Additionally, patients who have experienced COVID-19 and those who were sedentary during quarantine can have a higher fall risk; Southern Therapy can help prevent fall statistics from escalating in these conditions by identifying the possible risk, hopefully, before an actual fall has occurred.

Southern Therapy has aligned itself with FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers, a national physical therapy company that is an innovator in fall prevention, offering state-of-the-art balance programs, leading to better outcomes for patients with balance and vestibular disorders in addition to these vital fall risk assessments.

“Through our use of advanced technology, information, and science, we aim to educate our community, which includes the older adult population in addition to their caregivers, on the importance of understanding the risks associated with falls,” explains Bo Hamil, physical therapist and CEO.