LincolnHealth Therapists Offer “Balancing Act” a Free Workshop on How to Avoid Falls

Posted:  Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 1:30pm

In 2013, about 2.5 million older adults received treatment in emergency departments for falls and about 30 percent of those patients were hospitalized, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Despite those statistics, LincolnHealth Occupational Therapy Assistant Debbie Hidu and Physical Therapist Heather Brewer want people to understand that falls are not an inevitable part of growing older and one of the best ways to avoid falls is to remain active - up to a point.

The balancing act between remaining physically active and avoiding unnecessary risks is the topic of a program on falls at St. Andrews Village Jan. 26 from 11 a.m. to noon.

Both Brewer and Hidu have many years of experience working with older adults, including in home health, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, as well as hospital inpatient and outpatient settings. They have addressed home safety for their patients at each of those levels of care.

 The fall prevention program is part of an increased focus on wellness on the St. Andrews Campus of LincolnHealth, featuring an expanded Wellness Department with new educational space for classes on  subjects such as tai chi and yoga, and other programs designed to keep people well and in their homes.

Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among the elderly. Often falls can lead to a loss of independence.

As people age, the risk of falls grows for a number of reasons, including poor vision, muscle weakness, poor balance and medications.  Environmental issues, including loose rugs, electrical cords or even tripping over the family pet can also cause falls.

Even fear of falling has been shown to increase the chances of a fall because people become less active and lose strength and balance when they avoid normal activities because they are afraid they might fall.

Hidu and Brewer will offer a list of resources, including classes offered in the St. Andrews Campus Wellness Department and the Boothbay Region YMCA that can help people improve their balance and strength, as well as simple exercises people can do at home.

The talk will be interactive and Brewer and Hidu encourage people to bring their own questions.

There is no cost for the talk but because space is limited, please call 633-0920 to RSVP and for additional information.