By Tracy Simons, Silver Cross Hospital
According to the National Council on Aging, every 15 seconds an older adult is seen in an emergency room for a fall-related injury. To help reduce preventable falls, The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross (RIC) is offering FREE Fall and Balance screenings in October.
Individuals who have been experiencing dizziness or vertigo, have had a history of falls, near falls, or simply a fear of falling are excellent candidates for a balance screening.
“Since falling is the leading cause of injury deaths among people over the age of 65 and the leading cause of doctor visits, hospital admissions, and emergency room visits, it is important to determine if you are at risk,” says Matthew Boebel, Administrative Director for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital.
Appointments for FREE Fall and Balance screenings are available on
- Thursday, Oct. 17 at Silver Cross Professional Building, 1051 Essington Rd., Joliet
- Tuesday, Oct. 22 and Thursday, Oct. 24 at Silver Cross Hospital-Pavilion A, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox
- Tuesday, Oct. 29 at Silver Cross Health Center, 12701 W. 143rd St., Homer Glen.
The screening includes blood pressure readings, balance assessment, recommendations referrals for treatment if needed. To schedule an appointment, call (815) 300-7110.
Free Fall Prevention Program
To help seniors maintain their independence and avoid future risk of falling, Dr. Thomas Lee, family practice physician, and the RIC therapists will host a free program titled A Delicate Balance from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, New Lenox. Families are invited to learn about what causes a fall or loss of balance, how to identify areas of weakness, how to safeguard the home and other helpful tips to avoid harmful falls. Free Fall & Balance Screenings will be available before and after the program. Register to attend at www.silvercross.org or by calling 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).
Falls are especially dangerous for the elderly. The Center for Disease Control says more than one-third of adults 65 and older fall each year. And the consequences are great; seniors suffer from 360,000 to 480,000 fall-related fractures each year.
“Researchers say the risks of seniors falling are greater if they have lower body weakness, problems with walking and balance, or are taking four or more medications,” said Dr. Thomas Lee, family practice physician, at Silver Cross Hospital. “To reduce their risk, elderly people should get regular exercise to increase their lower body strength and improve balance.”
According to RIC at Silver Cross, there are numerous safety measures you can take to prevent slips and falls in your home:
- Stairways should have handrails on both sides.
- Attach safety treads to steps.
- Remove tripping hazards such as throw rugs, furniture, and clutter from walkways.
- Use self-adhesive non-skid mats or safety treads in bathtubs, showers, and pools.
- Use non-skid rugs on bathroom floors.
- Use non-skid pads under rugs on bare floors.
- Install grab bars on both sides of toilets and bathtubs.
About the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) have teamed up to expand post-acute physical medicine and rehabilitation services in Will County and the southwest Chicagoland communities. The partnership provides world-class rehabilitation care for a range of conditions for patients close to home. Silver Cross is the only healthcare facility in the area with this breadth of services in partnership with RIC. Together, Silver Cross and RIC provide rehabilitation services in inpatient and outpatient care settings at three locations. Additionally, the RIC team provides physical therapy services for patients on the hospital’s medical and surgical floors. For more information about RIC at Silver Cross, call (815) 740-7110 or visit www.silvercross.org.