Fall Prevention Day | Sep 22, 2013

Fall Prevention Day was September 22, 2013, coinciding with the first day of fall. The National Coalition on Aging themed this year's fall prevention day, "Preventing Falls - One Step at a Time."

The Geriatric Section of the APTA encouraged all section members to get involved with fall prevention and encouraged fall prevention activities that would utilize the new STEADI Fall Risk Assessment Tool. This tool was developed by the CDC and introduced to Geriatrics section members at the 2013 CSM in San Diego, CA, in January. It is a multi-factorial tool with a questionnaire of 14 items. Community dwelling older adults over the age of 65 who score 4 or more on the questionnaire are at risk for falls. The CDC also recommends 3 tests which can be administered as part of this fall risk assessment. They include Timed Up and Go, 30 Second Chair Rise, and the 4 Stage Balance Test.

You can find much more information about fall prevention and the STEADI on the CDC website, with all materials able to be downloaded.

At Altru Hospital, we wanted to be a part of Falls Prevention Day. We did a falls prevention power point presentation and educational session, followed by the participants completing the STEADI and the 3 balance/strength tests. We screened approximately 25 people at Altru Medical Fitness Center and 25 people at the Grand Forks Senior Center on 2 separate dates. Maureen Riley, PT, and Pat Carter, PT, worked with medical fitness staff and 3 UND-PT students in clinical rotations at Altru to do the testing.

Mindy Renfro, Balance and Falls Special Interest group leader for the APTA, reported that over 80 sites around the country participated in use of the STEADI under the direction of PTs. She is currently putting together a report about this nationwide effort to use this effective fall prevention program and screening tool to create awareness and emphasize the importance of fall prevention for older adults in our communities.