Howard Students Help Retirees Avoid Falls

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Asking residents at Westminster at Lake Ridge to stand on one leg for 30 seconds may seem like an odd request, but the test will help students from Howard University’s physical therapy program determine which residents may be at risk for falls. Students will also measure walking speed, check the rubber tips on canes and walkers, and perform other screening tests to help the retirees avoid injuries and continue to live independently.

“Once an older person sustains a serious injury in a fall, their ability to remain in independent living is significantly decreased,” says Spiridon Karavatas, PhD, associate professor in Howard University’s Department of Physical Therapy. “We want to determine who may be at high risk for falls and make sure they know fall prevention strategies.”

The fall prevention clinic is Tuesday, Jan. 29, 1:30-4:30pm, at Westminster at Lake Ridge. Other free services provided at the clinic include blood pressure, oxygen level and BMI measurement.

Falls are the leading cause of injury death among adults age 65 or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One out of three adults age 65 and older falls each year, but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about fall prevention.

The free screening is open to all older adults residing in Prince William County. Prince William residents interested in the free screening should call Clint Weigl at 703-496-3440.

Westminster at Lake Ridge is a Continuing Care Retirement Community located next to the historic, riverside Town of Occoquan, Virginia just across the river from Fairfax County and 30 minutes from Washington, D.C. Residents enjoy wellness and lifelong learning opportunities, the choice of maintenance-free cottage or apartment living, housekeeping, dining, parking, transportation and on-site amenities all in a beautiful, wooded campus environment featuring two ponds, gardens and trails to the Occoquan River.




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