A huge step is making sure your home is safe. Follow up a free screening that gives general information about reducing fall risks in your home with a professional assessment and treatment plan. We are fortunate that in Omaha, our Fire Department participates in the Remembering When Program. A fireman will come to your home and help you do a screening as a public service. You see, the fire department knows that some simple solutions can reduce the likelihood that you will be needing their services to carry you to the hospital after a fall.
The next step is an in-depth and customized home safety assessment and analysis of your fall risk by an Occupational Therapist. Did you know that this is usually covered by insurance if your Physician thinks you may have a fall risk? Research shows that understanding what a person's particular risk is and either helping them develop skills to reduce that risk or making what are often simple changes in the environment to compensate for a person's disability to reduce the risk of falling. A skilled therapist will be able to see things about your abilities and your environment that you might not be aware of since fall risk increases gradually over the years for most people. Key Complete Therapies provides outpatient services, like home safety evaluations, in the convenience of your home.
The first step is to work up the courage to think about falling and to look at your own risks and those of people you love. We know that even though one out of every four older Americans fall, only about half of those falls are reported to their doctors so that people can start to do something about the underlying causes of the fall.
People who fall aren't the only ones who hesitate to talk about falls. Many times we see people we know who seem to be at risk, but we don't say anything because we don't want to embarrass them, hurt their feelings, or get into an argument. Some people even still believe that falling is a natural part of aging so that there is nothing that can be done. Falling is not normal.
Many, many falls are entirely preventable, but only if we do something to reduce the risks not only for ourselves, but for people we know who are at risk. When therapists from Key Complete Therapies see a person in the home to help identify the underlying cause of balance issues and falling, our goal is to help a person live as safely as possible where ever they choose to live. Don't be afraid of talking about falls. That is often the first step toward a healthier, longer, happier life. Talk to your family and friends about falling. No one really wants to start the conversation, but no one wants to fall either.