Fall Prevention Program

Falls are among the leading causes of injury and death in the United States, particularly among older adults. Every year, one in three adults over the age of 65 falls, and 30% sustain a moderate to severe injury, including contusions, fractures or head trauma that require costly medical intervention and/or hospitalization. In addition, many people develop a fear of falling, which may actually increase their risk of future falls and lead to a decrease in mobility and activity levels, a decline in fitness and a decrease in overall quality of life.

The good news is that falls are preventable. Research has shown that multidisciplinary intervention programs, like Kessler’s Fall Prevention Program, are effective in reducing falls among older adults.

Comprehensive Evaluation

This innovative program, designed to help in the prevention of falls, draws on the expertise and experience of an interdisciplinary team of licensed physical, occupational and speech therapists, including certified cognitive, vision and vestibular specialists. The Kessler team provides each patient with a comprehensive evaluation to determine fall risk and develops an individualized treatment plan to best meet his or her rehabilitation needs and goals.

Evaluations include a clinical exam for vestibular function, computerized posturography, and a standard static/dynamic basic balance assessment.

Specialized Treatment

Kessler effectively integrates manual and high-tech assessment and treatment, including use of the Balance Master ® Equitest ® system. Patients benefit from both static and dynamic balance exercises, as well as strength and endurance training. We use standardized tests to chart each patient’s progress and adjust treatment accordingly. Treatment may include:

  • Balance training activities
  • Strength training
  • Visual training
  • ADL functional retraining
  • Ambulation and elevation training
  • Vestibular exercises
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Cognitive and behavioral strategies
  • Pharmacology consultation

In addition, this comprehensive program offers:

  • Patient education through community programs, support groups, print and online resources
  • Discussion and referral for home safety evaluations and modifications
  • Referral for additional therapies, such as nutritional counseling or vision check-ups
  • Medication review with licensed pharmacists and recommendations to improve patient compliance to medication protocols as prescribed by their physicians

Advanced Research

Kessler physicians and therapists are engaged in promising new research studies that may offer new avenues of treatment for individuals with balance disorders.

Getting Started

A referral from the individual’s physician is required to participate in Kessler’s Fall Prevention Program.

Recommendations

To help reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls and improve balance, Kessler Institute offers the following recommendations:

  • Be sure flooring is in good condition and remove throw rugs.
  • Clear stairs, hallways and rooms of clutter and other obstacles.
  • Secure or remove any electrical wires or cords.
  • Make sure lighting is adequate both inside and outside the home – especially on stairways. Install automatic light sensors, timers or night lights.
  • Place a telephone in each room or carry a cordless phone with you to avoid having to rush to answer a call.
  • Avoid sitting in rockers, swivel chairs and chairs with wheels.
  • Be sure railings and banisters are secure.
  • Install hand rails or grip bars in showers and bathtubs and place non-slip strips or decals on the floor/tub. Also use a rubber-backed bath mat when you step out.
  • Take extra precautions on uneven, wet, or icy pavements.
  • Reduce attentional demands and on focus on the activity at hand.
  • Include balance exercises in your fitness regimen, such as one-leg stands and sit-to-stand exercises, as well as exercises to build ankle, leg, and hip strength.

For More Information

For more information about Kessler's Fall Prevention program, contact or call Kessler's West Orange, Saddle Brook or Chester Campus.

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