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Fall Reduction Program

In keeping with our mission, the Farnum Rehabilitation Center of the Cheshire Medical Center offers a fall risk reduction and balance retraining program.

Contact Us
  • Keene, NH
    Phone: (603) 354-6630

This program includes a comprehensive balance evaluation, and education and training programs designed for the prevention of falls for people over age 65.

In a safe controlled setting, the program staff uses the latest technology to test mobility and balance skills of the individual. With this data, they design a customized training program of balance activities so participants can remain active and meet daily physical challenges more safely.

Falls take a staggering toll

Did you know...

  • Falls are the leading cause of injury in older adults.
  • Every year, one-third to one-half of persons 65 and over experience falls.
  • Of the elderly people who fall, half of them will fall repeatedly.
  • Five percent of falls lead to a broken bone.
  • Falls account for more than 200,000 hip fractures annually.
Balance: Know Facts from Myths

Myth:

  • Loss of balance is a fact of life as we grow older.

Fact:

  • Loss of flexibility and strength and decreased balance are mostly due to inactivity.
Fall Risk Reduction Program

The initial visit consists of an objective assessment of balance and upper/lower extremity strength as well as gait analysis.

For those who appear at extremely high risk, an evaluation is completed within the home at which time modifications and appropriate equipment will be recommended.

Following the evaluation, an eight week training program is conducted with two 45 minute sesssions per week. The sessions consist of progressively challenging, non-strenuous activity.

Visual feedback helps participants integrate control of their movements and increase their quality of balance.

At the end of this individualized program, a reassessment is completed. Results of the evaluation, program and reassessment are summarized in a report and made available for the participants and their physician's review and records. Follow-up reassessments are offered upon request.

Referrals

Participants must obtain a physician's referral to participate in the Fall-Risk Reduction Program.

Complete the Balance Self Test, and take it along to your next appointment to discuss the results with your physician.

Balance Self-Test
  • Have you fallen more than once in the past year?
  • Do you take medicine for two or more of the following diseases: heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, anxiety, depression?
  • Do you need to climb a flight or more of steps each day?
  • Do you have dizziness or balance problems frequently?
  • Do you experience blackouts or seizures?
  • Do you take unnecessary risks sometimes?
  • Have you experienced a stroke or other neurologic problem that has affected your balance?
  • Do you have numbness or loss of sensation in your legs and/or feet?
  • Do you use a walker or wheelchair, or need assistance to get around?
  • Do you participate in a regular exercise program such as walking, 20 minutes a day, and at least 3 times per week?
  • Do you feel unsteady when you are walking?

If you answered "yes" to one or more of the above questions, you may have a balance problem.

Safety Tips
  • Have an annual physical, including having your vision and hearing examined.
  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the side effects of your medications. Tell your doctor if your medication makes you dizzy of lightheaded.
  • Wear comfortable, supportive footwear.
  • Remove throw rugs and use double-sided tape to secure the edges of carpets that tend to curl up.
  • Use non-slip mats in the bath or shower and on wet surfaces such as entrances, laundry and sink areas.
  • Provide adequate space to maneuver between pieces of furniture to avoid walking sideways.
  • Make sure that electrical and telephone cords do not extend across the floor.
  • Use the television remote control and cordless phones.
  • Install an answering machine so you do not have to hurry to answer the telephone.
  • Provide adequate lighting throughout your home. At night time, use night lights in your hallway and bathroom, and turn lights on before entering the room if possible.
  • Have safe and secure grab bars installed in the bathroom and safe and secure railings installed on your stairways.
  • Try to avoid going outside in icy or snowy weather. Make sure walkways, driveways, and steps are shoveled, sanded and salted.
  • Keep active, join an exercise class or walk with a friend.

If you have any questions about this information, please check with your doctor or a health care professional. The information provided on this site is meant for education and does not give or replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare professional.