Fall Prevention Fair and Screening

Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare (TMH) Trauma and Neuroscience Centers sponsored the second annual Fall Prevention Awareness Day at the Tallahassee Senior Center on Wednesday.  

The awareness program invited local residents to a day full of medical attention, such as screenings for blood pressure, balance and strength, and medication reviews.

Dr. Teresa Hunter, an occupational therapist and event coordinator for Prevention Awareness Day, explained how the prevention day developed and the different procedures that were offered at the senior center.

“The Trauma Center and Neuroscience Center here at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital pulled together all the physical therapy professionals, nursing professionals and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University pre-physical therapy students,” Hunter said.

The goal for the event was to help deplete the rising numbers of falls throughout the year.

“We tried to get all professionals present so we could offer all the different aspects of fall risks screenings. We are screening for blood pressures, balance checks, leg strengths, vision and we have a pharmacist here that is reviewing people’s medication to see if they are adding any risks to falling,” Hunter added.

According to the Center for Disease and Control Prevention, one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury in senior citizens. Additionally, each year, 2.5 million senior citizens are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.

Amber Dodson, an occupational therapist for TMH Outpatient clinic, had many her duties at the fall prevention fair.

“We are trying to teach seniors to be safe and learn about preventive techniques versus having to go through hip replacements and unnecessary surgeries,” Dodson said.

Dodson works to educate citizens of all ages on procedures that can be done avoid falling at home.

“Make sure your home has adequate lighting, get rid of any tripping hazards like throw rugs or cords. If you have animals, make sure they are on a leash or make sure they have a bell or whistle on them that will make sounds if they get near your feet. Also, if you have stairs get railings, Dodson added.

Jean Madani, 92, a frequent Tallahassee Senior Center visitor, felt safer knowing the procedures she can take to avoid falling. Additionally, having her eyesight and balance reviewed was helpful as well.

“I have had them (TMH) come out to the house and check everything and show me stuff I haven’t even thought about as being dangerous. Although I do not feel like I am old, I am,” Madani said.

For more information regarding fall prevention visit, www.tmh.org. or contact Dr. Teresa Hunter by phone 850-431-7009.