Missoula Fall Prevention Project
Falls are the most common cause of injuries among senior residents over 65 and are the top reason for a hospital admission for trauma. Advanced age substantially increases the likelihood of hospitalization after a fall. Falls account for 87% of all fractures among people aged 65 years or older. MedicineNet.com
- Missoula Fall Prevention Project
- Stepping On program for seniors
- Fall Risk Assessment Screening Tool
- Physical Activity for older people
- Reducing common causes of falls at home
- Other resources
|Missoula Fall Prevention Project|
In 2009, the Health Department, together with several UM students, began to build a community team to enhance what currently is in place to reduce both the number and severity of falls among our older residents. Our bigger goal is to help more Missoula County older people be active, independent, healthy and remain in their own homes for as long as possible.
The founding members include:
- Missoula Aging Services
- Community Medical Center
- St. Patrick Hospital
- Missoula City-County Health Dept.
- MSU Nursing School
- University of Montana Schools of Health & Human Performances, Social Work, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, and Public Health
Many other agencies, organizations, and health care providers have expressed support for the Project, share an interest in fall prevention, and have assisted in one way or another.
Stepping On program for seniors
“Stepping On” is a well researched, “best practice”, comprehensive falls prevention program designed to change behaviors and increase self-confidence for people over 65 years of age. It consists of one 2-hour session each week for seven weeks. There are twelve participants in each group. Groups consist of people over 65 years of age who can walk independently (canes and walkers are acceptable).
Community Medical Center has taken the lead in bringing Stepping On to Missoula County, supported by a small grant from the State of Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
The date for the next session has not been determined. To put your name on a waiting list, call Mary Thane, 532-6276. The Home Hazards Checklist, below, might be a good place to start while you are waiting for the next class to begin.
The sessions are led by a nurse or therapist who has been officially trained as a Master Trainer, by a Peer Educator, and by specialists from the community.
One goal of Stepping On is to enhance the work currently being done by others in Missoula to reduce falls among seniors.
Stepping On - summary of each class:
- Introduction, risk assessment and fear of falling
- Introducing exercises
- Home hazards - Checklist
- Pedestrian safety, shoes review
- Vision check
- Medication management
- Review and evaluation
The initial 7 sessions are followed by a 3-month and a 6-month phone call.
The Fall Risk Assessment Screening Tool (FRAST), see link below, has recently been developed at the University of Montana. It is a simple-to-administer tool designed to quickly identify specific fall risks in people over the age of 65 who are able to walk safely on their own with or without a cane or walker.
Although it was designed to be administered by health care provider office staff, it can also be used by other agencies as well as family members of older people to help gauge risk and promote informed discussion about effective fall prevention. Give it a try. Anyone scoring in the medium or high fall risk category should be encouraged to discuss the results with their primary care provider.
Physical activity for older people
An excellent guide - Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging
- Preventing Falls - American Academy of Family Physicians
- Fall Prevention - Senior Living
- Eat Smart / Move More Program - A Health Department program started in 2002 to improve health by promoting physical activity and healthier food choices for all Missoula County residents.
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