Only Leaves Should Fall – Fall Prevention Program

March 27, 2024

Suzana Simoes, D.P.T., PT

Director Rehabilitation Services at Florida PACE Centers

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for seniors. Learn more about how our fall prevention program can help you or a loved one, as well as key tips on reducing your risk.

Working collaboratively with our interdisciplinary team, Florida PACE Centers’ physical and occupational therapists (PT & OT) are specially trained to address of the complex needs of our senior participants. Our approach to PT & OT services is a unique aspect that sets us apart from many other programs.

Our therapists conduct comprehensive evaluations and prescribe individualized treatment plans incorporating physical and occupational therapy, holistic wellness initiatives, and a restorative/maintenance program. All services are patient-centered and tailored to the participant’s specific needs to address any physical, cognitive, and functional challenges. We provide evidence-based practice, strive for quality, and closely monitor results.

Let’s Talk about Falls

Every year, falls occur in about 30% of adults aged over 65. In addition to personal distress, falls and fall-related injuries are serious health care problems for seniors because they often result in subsequent morbidity, disability, hospitalization/institutionalization, and mortality. Since fall risk increases with age, fall prevention is a central focus of our PT & OT services at Florida PACE Centers.

A Success Story

Mr. L, a 91-year-old participant with vascular dementia and Parkinson’s-related dementia, joined our fall prevention program after experiencing three falls within three months. To address his needs, we implemented a multi-faceted approach:

  • Medications were adjusted by his physician
  • Family meetings were held to brainstorm solutions and provide education
  • A comprehensive home assessment with caregiver training was conducted
  • Additional home care services were implemented to provide adequate supervision  

Mr. L received more than 50 hours of therapy over a period of six months, in accordance with the evidence on number of hours needed for balance training. Therapy included Zumba classes at Florida PACE Center and the Otago Exercise Program, an evidence-based program recommended by the National Council on Aging (NCOA).

Mr. L graduated from the program with improvements in balance and mobility scores and was able to walk further distances without fatigue. He can now stand independently without using his hands for support. Interestingly, Mr. L was a boxer in his younger years, and with the help of PACE therapy, he was able “knock out” impairments like slowness and weakness – allowing him to remain safely at home with his wife, who is also a PACE participant.

Learn More About Reducing Your Risk

Watch our fall prevention safety video to learn some key tips that can help you or a loved one reduce the risk of falling.

Contact Florida PACE Centers today for more information on the fall prevention program.

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