SAFR Program designed to help seniors avoid risk of falling

February 7, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, millions of older people — those 65 and older — fall.

In fact, more than one out of every four older people falls each year; however, less than half tell their doctor. And each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries, with more than 800,000 patients a year hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture. 

Many people who fall, even if they’re not injured, become afraid of falling. This fear may cause a person to cut down on their everyday activities. When a person is less active, they become weaker and this increases their chances of falling.

What can be done about this? The SAFR Program at MedRehab is just the ticket to help these people.

The purpose of the SAFR program is to assess an individual’s risk of falling and then determine causes or contributing factors to falls. Physical and occupational therapists combine their specific skills to provide an interdisciplinary approach to fall prevention The goal of the program to reduce the risk of falls in the future.

Treatment involves one-on-one care in the clinic as well as an individualized home exercise program, patient education, equipment recommendations and virtual home assessment. It is also common that other interventions such as orthotics, vision screens or medication reviews are recommended to the referring physician as well.

The program was designed for the senior patient population, but could include other patient groups with a fall history or potential fall risk. Typical patients have multiple medical/physical problems that contribute to their overall fall risk and general well-being. These individuals typically need a longer course of therapy. 

Therapists use a number of assessment tools to determine the risk for falls. This can help patients realize they have a need for intervention.

Risk factors include but are not limited to leg weakness, environmental hazards, vision issues, sensory deficits, footwear problems, blood pressure, vestibular problems and cognition. Most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors.

If you have a patient that you wish to attend the SAFR program, contact MedRehab at 734-998-7888.