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  • Are You Fall-Savvy? Take This Quick Quiz

    Falls Prevention Awareness Day is set for September 22, making now a great time to check out falls-related resources on APTA's recently updated Balance and Falls webpage. But before you do, see how you score on this 8-question quiz on falls statistics and screening (scroll down for answers). Good luck!

    1. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately how many Americans aged 65 and older experience a fall every year?
    A. 1 in 3
    B. 1 in 4
    C. 1 in 5
    D. 1 in 6

    2. According to a clinical guideline statement from the APTA Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy (AGPT), what question should physical therapists (PTs) routinely ask older adult patients?
    A. "What medications are you currently taking?"
    B. "Are you experiencing feelings of dizziness?"
    C. "Have you been diagnosed with diabetes?"
    D. "Have you had any falls in the last 12 months?"

    3. Between 2007 and 2016, death rates due to falls in the US increased by what percentage?
    A. 3%
    B. 15%
    C. 24%
    D. 31%

    4. Authors of a 2012 study in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity studied a particular activity and found that adults who engaged in this activity had a reduced risk for falls. Which activity did researchers target?
    A. Gardening
    B. Driving a car
    C. Shopping
    D. Light household chores

    5. A recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the falls risk factor affecting the largest number of adults 65 and over is:
    A. Visual impairments
    B. Medication interaction
    C. Home hazards
    D. Vitamin D deficiency

    6. A recent CDC study ranked US states according to older adult death rates due to falls in 2016. At 142.7 per 100,000 individuals, which state reported the highest death rate?
    A. Alabama
    B. Florida
    C. Arizona
    D. Wisconsin

    7. According to the CDC, among men and women aged 65 and older, which group has the highest rate of nonfatal falls, and which has the highest rate of fatal falls?
    A. Men have the highest rates of both fatal and nonfatal falls.
    B. Women have the highest rates of both fatal and nonfatal falls.
    C. Women have higher rates of nonfatal falls; men have higher rates of fatal falls.
    D. Men have higher rates of nonfatal falls; women have higher rates of fatal falls.

    8. According to a survey of emergency department physicians in the US and Canada, the bathroom is the most risky location for a fall in the home among adults 65 and older, with 69% of home falls occurring in that space. Which area comes in second?
    A. Kitchen
    B. Bedroom
    C. Stairs
    D. Living room

    ANSWERS:

    1. B - About 24% of older Americans fall each year—the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older Americans, according to the CDC.

    2. D - There are of course many questions that may be appropriate for providers to ask (including some of the choices listed here), but the question that should never be skipped is whether the patient has experienced any falls in the past 12 months, according to the AGPT guidelines. Previous falls are 1 of the strongest falls risk factors, and should never be ignored.

    3. D - Falls-related deaths rose by 31% between 2007 and 2016, according to the CDC. During the 10 years tracked in the study, falls-related deaths among US residents 65 and older rose from 18,334 to 29,668—in terms of rates of death from falls, that's an increase from 47 per 100,000 to 61.6 per 100,000 in that age group. Deaths climbed by about 3% per year, according to the report.

    4. A - In the study, researchers focused on gardening, and concluded that "gardeners reported significantly better balance and gait speed and had fewer chronic conditions and functional limitations than nongardners." They believed the findings "suggest that gardening may be a potential activity to incorporate into future fall-prevention programs."

    5. C  - Home hazards were the leader in terms of falls risk factors, but that isn't to say other factors don't come into play as well, say authors of the study.

    6. DAccording to the CDC, Wisconsin had the highest falls-related death rate among adults 65 and older, at 142.7 per 100,000. Authors aren't sure of the reasons for the variance but suspect that the numbers might be related to demographic variables including differing proportions of older white adults in various states. Another possible explanation: the impact of who completes the death certificate.: According to the CDC researchers, a 2012 study showed that coroners reported 14% fewer deaths from falls than did medical examiners.

    7. C - Women have higher rates for falls, but men have higher death rates related to falls, according to the CDC. Authors of the study speculate that the higher fatality rate "might have resulted from differences in the circumstances of a fall (e.g., from a ladder or while drinking), leading to more serious injuries."

    8. B - Caregiverstress.com reports that at 13%, bedrooms are the second-most-likely place for a fall, followed by kitchens and stairs.

    Donations Now Being Accepted for Florence Relief

    An online giving program established last year to help hurricane victims in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico is now focusing its efforts on providing aid to people affected by Hurricane Florence, which recently inflicted billions in damage in the Carolinas.

    Now's your chance to help.

    "Rehab Therapists Give Back," an online giving program designed to provide physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and other rehabilitation professionals with an opportunity to come together as a unified community to help those in need, is now accepting donations for Florence relief. Accessible through a GlobalGiving website, the initiative allows donors to contribute any amount. Electronic medical records system vendor WebPT and APTA were founding funders of the program.

    Questions? Contact RTGB@webpt.com.

    State-Level PT Advocates Honored at 2018 Policy and Payment Forum

    Recognition of the importance of nonpharmacological pain therapies, adoption of the physical therapy licensure compact, a higher-profile role for physical therapists (PTs) in concussion management, and improving the legal scope of practice for physical therapists were among the accomplishments of this year's APTA State Legislative Leadership and Legislative Commitment Award winners recognized at the association's recent State Policy and Payment Forum in Kansas City, Missouri. The event was co-hosted by the Missouri and Kansas chapters of APTA.

    This year, 4 PTs were honored for their service to the profession at the state level:

    Mark Bishop, PT, PhD, FAPTA, was presented with an APTA State Legislative Leadership Award for his work in Florida to address the opioid crisis. Bishop's leadership and expertise was instrumental in the Florida Physical Therapy Association's development of a legislative amendment, adopted into the Florida Substance Abuse Act, that requires prescribers of controlled substances to complete a 2-hour continuing education course on prescribing controlled substances that must include information on nonpharmacological therapies.

    Cynthia Driskell, PT, also earned an APTA State Legislative Leadership Award in recognition of her achievements over 8 years as state legislative chair for the Arizona Chapter of APTA. Driskell's skills at facilitation were most recently brought to bear on a multisession effort to include PTs among the providers empowered to make return-to-play decisions for athletes and a successful push to include PTs with a sports specialty certification to participate in a concussion management pilot program.

    Derek Gerber, PT, DPT, of Idaho, was the third recipient of a State Legislative Leadership Award. Gerber led a successful push to eliminate the state's prohibition on dry needling by PTs, a change that was signed into law in March. Thanks to Gerber's extensive involvement in the effort, Idaho now allows PTs to practice dry needling after they have completed specified education and training requirements.

    Emilie Jones, PT, DPT, was honored with the APTA State Legislative Commitment Award. Jones, who served 3 years as legislative committee chair for the Washington Chapter of APTA, was instrumental in addressing several crucial issues in the state, including assistive personnel revisions, progress on dry needling, and the adoption of the physical therapy licensure compact.

    The APTA State Policy and Payment Forum focuses on advocacy and legislative issues at the state level. Check out pictures from the event here.

    State Forum Awards
    This year's state legislative award winners (from left): Emilie Jones, PT, DPT; Derek Gerber, PT, DPT; and Cynthia Driskell, PT. Not pictured: Mark Bishop, PT, PhD, FAPTA. Jones, Driskell, and Bishop received State Legislative Leadership Awards; Gerber received a State Legislative Commitment Award.