ChristianaCare

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Senior Health

Safe Steps

Prevent Falls Now with Safe Steps

While one in three older Americans falls every year, falls don’t have to be a normal part of aging. Clinicians at ChristianaCare treat many seniors who have had falls, and we know how serious the injuries can be. We are committed to partnering with older adults to reduce their risk of falls so they can move safely and confidently through their golden years.

Our new fall prevention program, Safe Steps, offers a team of experts that specializes in geriatrics and physical medicine and rehabilitation. Specialists from these areas work with patients to address the many factors that contribute to falls, including:

  • Balance, gait and vision problems.
  • Environmental issues, such as clutter and poor lighting.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Chronic conditions that affect joints, feet and legs.

We address each of these factors to reduce patients’ risk of falls so they can live safely in their own homes and avoid serious injuries and long stays in the hospital.

Safe Steps is a comprehensive program that offers:

  • A complete check-up and medical history.
  • A personalized plan to address your fall risk.
  • Help finding community resources that can reduce your risk of falls.

Safe Steps starts with sessions with a geriatrician and a physiatrist (a doctor specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation), as described below.

Geriatrics Session

Geriatrics is a medical specialty devoted solely to older adults over 65. Our Safe Steps geriatrician will:

  • Identify medical causes that could contribute to a patient’s risk of falls.
  • Obtain a detailed fall history and assess the patient’s living situation.
  • Review each patient’s medical history, paying specific attention to medications, including prescription, over-the-counter and herbal supplements.
  • Check blood pressure, both seated and standing.
  • Screen for visual or cognitive impairment and depression.

Physiatry Session

Physiatrists specialize in helping people improve function caused by illness, injury or disabling condition. Our Safe Steps physiatrist will provide the following:

  • A fall history and assessment.
  • A physical examination and functional assessment.
  • A balance and gait evaluation.
  • A discussion of equipment needs for home safety.
  • Community referrals for balance programs and lectures.
  • A home exercise program to address balance and gait problems.

In addition to sessions with these specialists, each patient may also work with:

  • An exercise physiologist, who will encourage patients to stay on track with their exercise programs.
  • A nurse navigator, who will assess patients for potential risk factors affecting bone health.
  • A medical assistant, who will conduct a vision screening for each patient.
  • A social worker, who will evaluate each patient’s home environment and administer cognitive and depression screening tools.

If you have ever had a fall, are unsteady on your feet or simply lack confidence when walking, call 302-320-6475 to schedule an appointment today.