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Why Fall Prevention?

Did you know every 20 minutes an older adult dies from a fall in the United States? That is a pretty staggering statistic. In 2014, 1 in 4 older adults reported a fall. Over 7 million of those falls required medical treatment and more than 27,000 older adults died as a result of falling. Imagine all of the older adults in your life and how many have fallen. Our goal at Fyzical of Shady Grove is to lower this statistic by treating patients who are at high risk of falls and help prevent them from falling in the future. There are also some simple ways to reduce the risk of falling just by looking around your own home.


Follow this Home Safety Checklist adapted from the CDC to help identify potential hazards and fall risks in your home:

First, take a look at your floors:

  1. Make sure there is a clear path through the room. Move any furniture out of the way, so that you don't have to weave around it to walk through the room.

  2. Pick up objects that are lying on the floor and avoid use the floor as storage for clothes, shoes, books, magazines, etc.

  3. Tack down or coil any wires or cords so that they are against a wall.

  4. Remove throw rugs or use a double-sided tape or non-slip backing so they don't slip.

Next, take a look at the stairs both inside and outside:

  1. Always keep objects off the stairs.

  2. Fix loose or uneven steps.

  3. Ensure there is light by each set of stairs and a light switch at both the top and bottom.

  4. Make sure carpet is firmly attached to each step or remove the carpet entirely

  5. Fix loose handrails or install new ones. Make sure you have a hand rail on both sides of the stair well.

Now, move onto the kitchen:

  1. Keep items you use most frequently on the lower shelves, so they can be easily reached.

  2. If you must use a step stool to reach something on a high shelf, make sure the step stool is sturdy and has a handle to hold onto. Never use a chair as a step stool.

Next, look at your bedroom:

  1. Place a lamp next to your bed that can be easily reached.

  2. Put in a nightlight so that you can see where you're walking at night.

Lastly, look at your bathrooms:

  1. Put down non-slip mats or strips in the shower to avoid stepping onto a slick surface.

  2. Install grab bars next to and inside the tub or shower, and next to the toilet.

If you or someone you know has fallen in the last year, has difficulty walking or maintaining their balance, schedule an appointment with your doctor to be screened for preventable risks.


Here at Fyzical of Shady Grove we specialize in fall prevention and welcome anyone who has a concern about falling to be assessed and treated as necessary to reduce your risk of a fall. Call us at (240) 361-9000 for more information or to schedule an appointment with a Physical Therapist


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Balance, Falls, and Hearing Loss: Is it Time for a Paradigm Shift?. Lubetzky, Anat V. JAMA Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery. April 23, 2020


NEWS UPDATE:

  • A recent study, dated April 23, 2020, published by the American Medical Association shared new information reporting people with a moderate level of hearing loss are twice as likely to have a balance impairment.

  • Additionally, a national US survey (ages 40-69 years old) found that for every 10-dB increase in hearing loss there was a 1.4-fold increase in the odds of the individual reporting a fall

How does my hearing affect my balance?

  • The association between hearing loss and balance problems may be due to an underlying vestibular disorder. Your vestibular system (the organ used for balance) and cochlea (the organ used for hearing) are very closely connected both anatomically and physiologically. With hearing loss there may be a concomitant underlying vestibular loss as well, even without vestibular symptoms, such as dizziness.

  • Some studies suggest auditory cues are needed for environmental awareness. Without the auditory cues, due to hearing loss, there may be reduced awareness which may impair the ability to control your balance in real-world environments and lead to falls.

Do I need physical therapy just because I have hearing loss?

  • New evidence suggests that balance may be impaired and often overlooked in patients with hearing loss

  • Clinically, it may be reasonable for people with hearing loss to be screened for balance performance and fall risk

I have hearing loss and/or I'm concerned about my balance, what should I do?

  • Contact your doctor to have your hearing loss and balance evaluated

  • Your doctor may refer you to see a physical therapist to address your balance impairments.

  • Reminder: Maryland is a direct access state, meaning some insurances do not require a referral from your doctor to see a physical therapist. If you have concerns about your balance you can schedule an appointment with a physical therapist today!

To schedule an appointment with an ENT or Physical Therapist to address your concerns, call us at: 240-361-9000



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Updated: May 4, 2020

Why consider Telehealth?

During the COVID-19 pandemic and the stay at home order, many seniors are stuck in their homes with very little to do. Leading a sedentary lifestyle can lead to deconditioning and put you at risk for blood clots, balance issues, and falls.

What can my PT do over Telehealth?

A skilled and knowledgeable Physical Therapist from FYZICAL of Shady Grove can perform an assessment, over video chat, to determine what exercises and activities would benefit you. Your Physical Therapist will then create a unique and personalized exercise-based program to help meet your needs!

How often can I do Telehealth?

Depending on what your Physical Therapist determines during your initial assessment, it may be recommended to have a video session 1-3x/week.

Do I need a computer for Telehealth?

While having a computer or laptop with a camera is ideal, you can use a tablet or smart phone for your Telehealth video chats as well.

Will Medicare cover Telehealth?

Yes, Medicare will cover Telehealth services including the initial assessment. Other insurances like Aetna, Cigna, and United Healthcare are also covering Telehealth services

Call us today for more information or to schedule your Telehealth appointment!

240-361-9000

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