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Helping the older population stay on their feet

Patient talking with student

October 2013

Each year, on the first day of Fall, organizations, agencies and healthcare providers throughout the country recognize National Fall Prevention Awareness Day. Events are intended to promote and increase public awareness about how to prevent and reduce falls among older adults.

This year St. Ambrose University, along with the Center for Activity Seniors and Milestones Area Agency on Aging in Davenport, IA sponsored a National Fall Prevention Awareness Day Event. The day was built around the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries (STEADI) tool. Participants were engaged in a multi-step process of screening and education to help prevent future falls:

  • fall risk factors
  • discussed the results with physical therapists and physical therapy students,
  • consulted with an occupational therapist about home modifications,
  • learned about local exercise programs,
  • had their balance and mobility assessed,
  • discussed their medications with a pharmacist
  • completed a debriefing session with physical therapists and physical therapy students who discussed the recommendations of all the professionals.

Sixty individuals participated in the event, and over 20 percent were found to be at-risk for falls. 

Fourteen local physical therapists, including two SAU Physical Therapy Department faculty, 22 St. Ambrose University Doctor of Physical Therapy students, and a faculty member from the St. Ambrose University Occupational Therapy Department, volunteered during this event.

This was a great collaborative event between St. Ambrose University and local agencies focused on the wellbeing of older adults. Plans are underway to repeat this event again in 2014.

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