A fall can affect anyone at any age, but for adults age 65 and older, it can be traumatic. Almost 30% of older adults fall each year, and 20% of those falls cause a serious head injury or a broken bone. More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling down. Falling once doubles a person's chance of falling again.
"The statistics regarding falls are eye-opening," said Mick Welding, Marketing Director for Morrison Community Hospital. "Approximately 74 older adults die each day as the result of a fall. The State of Illinois now allows physical therapists to evaluate and treat patients who may benefit from this service without needing a physician's referral. At Morrison Community Hospital, we will report to and consult with a patient's primary physician as needed. Some insurance plans may require that a physician approves the services in advance."
Beginning January 2, 2020, Morrison Community Hospital will offer a free balance screening to anyone who feels unsteady or has experienced one or more falls. "Depending on the screening results, patients may receive information about how to reduce their risk of falling, and a more complete physical therapy evaluation may be recommended," added Welding. "A referral to a physician or another specialist may also be provided."
Risk factors for falling include lower body weakness, Vitamin D deficiency, difficulties with walking and balance, vision problems, foot pain, and use of medications like sedatives or antidepressants. Home hazards, such as uneven steps and throw rugs, are also risk factors.
"We encourage patients to have their eyes checked and to talk with their physician about their risks," said Welding. "Doing strength and balance exercises, removing throw rugs, adding grab bars by showers and toilets, and adding a second railing on stairways can help reduce falls."
For physical therapy treatment for a particular ailment, or for the complimentary balance screening, call MCH at 815-772-5548 for an appointment.
Morrison Community Hospital
303 North Jackson Street
Morrison, IL 61270