MEQUON — Concordia University physical therapy students will host a free fall risk assessment clinic for older adults at its campus Wednesday, Oct.6.
Anyone 55 and older can come by. You must register for an appointment here. Appointments are at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Students got to practice their assessments Wednesday. They check vitals, ask questions and run their practice patients through a few quick tests.
"They sit in the chair and they walk to the cone and back, and we’re timing them and also assessing their quality of movement," Associate Professor Dr. Stacy Stolzman said. "Are they shuffling? Are they tripping?"
Stolzman says after patients are screened, they get a form they can take to their doctor.
"It's a great way to start the conversation, because many older adults have fallen in the past, and they are nervous about sharing that with their provider," Stolzman said.
Students like Mallory Durnbaugh says she sees this as a way to help make a difference in someone's life.
"The older generation, they are at a greater risk for falls, and if they do fall it’s at a greater detriment to their health," Durnbaugh said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Wisconsin leads the country in deadly falls with 157 deaths per 100,000. The CDC reports falling deaths in people 65 and older went up about 30 percent from 2009 to 2018 nationwide. It lists some of the risk factors as lower body weakness, balance or vision issues, use of certain medications and home hazards.
"If we can identify these individuals sooner, give them tips and tricks and exercises to kind of improve their balance and prevent these falls, we can just improve their quality of life," Durnbaugh said.
"Maybe it’s their vision that needs to be addressed, or we can work on strengthening and balance, or just fix some safety issues around the house," Stolzman said.