TAH offers free balance checks this week - Titusville Herald: News

TAH offers free balance checks this week

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Posted: Monday, September 23, 2019 5:00 am

More than 800,000 people are hospitalized each year due to a fall injury, according to the Center for Disease Control. In an effort to help stem the tide of fall-based injuries, the Titusville Area Hospital Physical Therapy Department will be offering free balance assessments throughout this week.

The free screenings are offered in conjuncture with Fall Prevention Awareness Week, which is held during the week of the first day of fall.

According to Physical Therapist Assistant Dan Hasbrouck, there are a variety of ailments that can increase a person’s chance of falling, including arthritis, muscle weakness, impaired vision, cardiovascular disease and more. Through assessments, Hasbrouck said physical therapists can determine a patient’s risk of falling, as well as identify any balance issues that can be corrected through exercise and therapy programs.

“Individuals over the age of 80 have a greater risk of falling, especially those that have a history of falling and use an assistive device to walk and have not been shown how to properly use it, or have not been fitted for the device,” he said.

According to the National Council on Aging, one in four Americans at age 65 or older fall each year. These falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans.

Contrary to what some may think, Hasbrouck said the most common place for a person to fall is in their own home on an otherwise flat surface. People may slip over a throw rug, floor rug, pet or extension cord that throws off their balance.

Another commonly risky area is the bathroom. According to Hasbrouck, showers and toilet seats can be dangerous without a grab bar to help out.

These falls can result in broken bones and scrapped skin. Hasbrouck said that people who are already affected by another condition, such as diabetes, may have difficulty recovering from injuries incurred in a fall.

The free assessments will be offered from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday through Friday next week, and no appointments are needed. The Titusville Area Hospital Physical Therapy Department is located at 228 E. Central Ave. For more information, call 827-0354.

Ray can be reached, by email, at sray@titusvilleherald.com.

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