|Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are front-line defense against the risk of injury from balance-related falls. A small amount of volunteer time can make a big difference in the quality of life for Florida residents. How do you get started?
Become an Advocate
Volunteer your time as an advocate for fall prevention! The Florida Department of Health routinely receives statewide requests for individuals who can give professional presentations and speak at community events on the topic of falls prevention for Florida’s older adults. Consider volunteering your expertise! If you are interested in becoming a speaker or would like more information, please contact Monica McKenzie, the injury prevention program liaison for the Florida Injury Prevention Advisory Council.
Screen for Fall Risk
Use your clinical expertise to screen your patient/client’s for fall risk. This is as simple as asking your patient/client about falls in the last year and observing any gait and balance deficits. Work with your employer to implement a plan for what should occur if you identify one of your patient/client’s as being a fall risk according to this simple screening criteria. Medicare has developed a Quick Reference Guide suitable for downloading and printing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) STEADI Toolkit for healthcare providers and the American Geriatrics Society/British Geriatrics Society has published clinical practice guidelines for fall prevention.
Support Fall Prevention Awareness Day
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) has established a national Fall Prevention Awareness Day in September on or around the first day of fall. Use the resources provided by NCOA to become involved in activities surrounding this event and get the word out to a larger audience.
Read the literature
Keep up-to-date with literature by bookmarking the FPTA Focus on Literature page.