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Fall Prevention Specialist

Golden Oak Medicine -  - Geriatrics

Golden Oak Medicine

Geriatrics & Adult Medicine located in Asheville, NC

Falls increase the likelihood of older people needing to move into a nursing home and may even shorten their life. At Golden Oak Medicine in Asheville, North Carolina, Kate Marshall, MD, Golnosh Sharafsaleh, MD, MS, AGSF, FAAFP, and their team offer fall prevention services that help you avoid falls and their life-changing consequences. To benefit from their expertise in fall prevention and enjoy continued independence, call Golden Oak Medicine or book an appointment online today.

Fall Prevention Q&A

What is fall prevention?

Fall prevention means taking steps to reduce your likelihood of suffering injuries because of a fall. Falls are a frequent cause of injury for older people that can significantly impact their independence.

Older adults who suffer falls are more likely to incur broken bones and head trauma that lead to loss of function and the need to use an assistive device like a walker. Complications resulting from the injuries incurred in falls are also the primary cause of death in people over 65. 

Around 20% of older people who break their hip in a fall die within a year. Fractures like these are common in older people because they’re more likely to have osteoporosis. This condition is where the bones lose density and strength, so they can break under far less pressure than when you’re young.

Golden Oak Medicine’s fall prevention program can help you avoid these potentially devastating outcomes and retain your independence for longer.

Why do older people suffer falls?

Factors that could increase your risk of falls include:

  • History of falls
  • Weakness in the legs
  • Balance disorders
  • Vitamin D and B12 deficiencies
  • Chronic pain
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Stroke
  • Arthritis 
  • Poor vision
  • Heart problems 
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Diabetic peripheral neuropathy

The medicines you take can also affect your fall risk, especially if you use multiple medications (polypharmacy) or have a recent change in your medication. Prolonged hospitalization or bed rest can also lead to weakness, making falls more likely.

The environment around you may contain potential hazards as well, like uneven or slippery flooring, steps and stairs, and low light levels. These factors can combine to cause falls, but with expert fall prevention services from Golden Oak Medicine, you can reduce your risk considerably.

What does fall prevention involve?

Golden Oak Medicine works with pharmacists and physical and occupational therapists to help patients at their fall clinic. The fall clinic team assesses your risk of falls and works together to reduce or eliminate these risks. Your fall evaluation includes:

  • Full fall history
  • Full medical history
  • Medication review
  • Environmental evaluation
  • Physical examination
  • Blood pressure when lying, sitting, and standing
  • Strength testing
  • Evaluation of walking and speed

The Golden Oak Medicine falls team also assesses your confidence and any fears regarding standing and walking. Where necessary, they do further tests such as blood work.

Following your evaluation, the team prepares their recommendations on fall prevention. These could include medication management, the use of supportive devices, changing your diet and using supplements, and getting regular physical therapy.

Treating underlying conditions and issues like vision problems is also vital, as is making adjustments to your home environment to reduce your fall risk.

To benefit from a potentially life-saving fall reduction assessment at Golden Oak Medicine, call the office or book an appointment online today.