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Ozarks Medical Center Rehabilitation Services will host a Falls Prevention Day, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Shaw Medical Building, 1111 Kentucky Avenue in West Plains. This event will feature balance and fall risk screens along with safety education for Falls Prevention.
“Falls and fall-related injuries are common problems among older adults,” said Pam Ream, Director of OMC Rehabilitation Services. “More than one-third of adults aged 65 and older fall each year. Many individuals never fully recover from falls, living with chronic pain or reduced abilities, often leading to reduced independence.”
According to the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), falls are the major reason for 40 percent of nursing home admissions and falls can even be life-threatening.
In 2006, 575 older Missourians died due to fall-related injuries, more than three times the number killed in motor vehicle accidents.
Ream said falls are also costly. By 2020, the annual direct and indirect costs of fall injuries in the U.S. are expected to reach $43.8 billion, according to the DHSS.
During the falls screening, physical therapists will work with participants to assess their risk for falls, which can include certain illnesses, medications, poor visions or muscle weakness. Rehabilitation Services staff will also provide tips and lifestyle changes, which can help to prevent falls. Some of these include strength and balance exercises, medication review and home hazard modifications.
Information from OMC Rehabilitation Services, Riverways Home Health, OMC Orthopaedic Clinic, OMC Pain Management Clinic and Heart of the Ozark Medical Equipment (H.O.M.E.) will also be available. The OMC event is part of a state-wide initiative called “Show Me Falls Free Missouri,” sponsored by Missouri Physical Therapy Association.
Please call OMC Rehabilitation Services at 417-257-5959 or toll free at 888-242-9329 for more information.