Learn why older adults fall and how a physical therapist can help reduce the risk for falls and fall-related injuries in older adults.
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ALEXANDRIA, VA, May 11, 2010 — Massachusetts physical therapists will offer free balance, strength, and blood pressure screenings for older adults during the American Physical Therapy Association's (APTA) Annual Conference at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Saturday, June 19, 2010, from 10 am to 1 pm. In addition to these tests, physical therapists will offer free 30-minute informational sessions on falls prevention, including safe exercise programs for aging adults and home safety modification tips.
As experts in mobility and movement, physical therapists will help participants understand why falls occur and what can be done to prevent them. Licensed physical therapists will provide attendees with written results of the tests along with recommendations for improving balance and reducing the risk of falls. These screenings may reveal balance problems that can be addressed before they lead to a fall, allowing the individual to prevent serious injury.
An exhibit hall showcasing mobility aids, assistive devices for home safety, exercise equipment, footwear and much more will be open to event participants.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of adults aged 65 and older fall each year in the United States. Falls are the leading cause of death due to injuries and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma in the older adult population.
Physical therapists assess each person individually and determine the risk of falling, such as loss of mobility, loss of balance, weakness, lack of coordination, ambulation problems, home environment hazards, and decreased confidence. Physical therapists create specialized programs to address risks and improve independence and quality of life.
APTA urges older adults to schedule a balance and falls assessment with a physical therapist and to consider the following suggestions to reduce the risk of falls and related injuries:
- Ask a physician or pharmacist to regularly review their medications - both prescription and over-the counter - to reduce side effects and interactions that could increase the risk of falling.
- Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year.
- Reduce fall hazards in the home, such as loose rugs, clutter, and poor lighting.
For more information and to register for the event, visit www.moveforwardpt.com/ or call 800/999-2782. Participants can register online, by phone or fax 703/706-3396.
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 74,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy nationwide. Learn more about conditions physical therapists can treat and find a physical therapist in your area at www.moveforwardpt.com. Consumers are encouraged to follow us on Twitter (@moveforwardpt) and Facebook.