Strength in Numbers: A Community Education Program to Prevent Falls in Older Adults

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


The incidence and consequences of falls for older adults are well documented and well known to home care clinicians. In the absence of a falls-prevention program targeting older adults living in the community, home healthcare professionals at Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice in Northampton, MA, observed a high rate of falls and hip fractures. The clinicians designed a falls reduction program titled Strength in Numbers, an evidence-informed, multifaceted approach offered in community settings such as local senior centers and retirement communities. Physical and occupational therapists presented sessions that addressed risk factors for falls: fear of falling, strength, balance, medications, vision, and home safety. This article describes the program, its evolution and expansion, and outcomes. Between 2008 and 2015, 1,974 people received falls-prevention education through one of several variations of Strength in Numbers. Nearly 20% of those returning for a follow-up session who had fallen before did not fall again after completing it. Presenters recorded statistically significant improvement for participants in Single-Leg Standing, Timed Up and Go, and Functional Reach tests.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles