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  • Get Ready for Falls Prevention Awareness Day With These 5 Great Resources

    National Falls Prevention Awareness Day is set for September 23, with Falls Prevention Awareness Week beginning the week of September 21. It's a good time to remember how physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) have been at the forefront of falls prevention work through the years, and to recommit to continuing that work.

    Here are 5 great APTA resources that can help you get in that falls-prevention state of mind:

    1. A clinical summary on falls risk in community-dwelling older adults
      The reasons why older adults fall are complicated. Decreased strength, balance problems, difficulty walking, medication errors, impaired vision, cognition issues, depression, and the effects of multiple health problems—all are linked to increased rates of falls. This clinical summary at PTNow focuses on screening older adults with or without a history of falls or a diagnosis of falls-related injury.
    2. A practice guideline on the assessment and prevention of falls
      Another great resource from PTNow, this 2013 guideline offers evidence-based advice on preventing falls in people 65 or older, including recommendations about preventing falls in inpatients aged 50 to 64 who are at high risk.
    3. Multiple tests and measures for falls at your fingertips
      Don't miss out on this. Visit PTNow, type "Falls" in the search window, refine your search by checking off ONLY the "tests and measures" window, and watch the magic happen: 34 tests and evaluation guidelines to help you assess falls risk.
    4. A community for PTs and PTAs interested in falls issues
      Get a conversation started. APTA sponsors an online community that allows PTs and PTAs to connect with each other to share information, stories, and inspiration related to falls and falls prevention. Find out what your peers across the country are doing.
    5. The big Kahuna of APTA falls resources
      APTA's Balance and Falls webpage offers just about everything, from a collection of Physical Therapy (PTJ) articles on falls, to consumer education resources, to multiple CEU opportunities. It's all there, plus links to resources from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and NCOA.

    Spearheaded by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), Falls Prevention Awareness Day was created to highlight what NCOA describes as the leading cause of injuries among older Americans, with an estimated 2.5 million falls-related injuries treated annually, which include 734,000 hospitalizations and nearly 22,000 deaths.

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