It is my zechus to address our kehila on the important topic of fall prevention in the elderly. As a physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physician, I would like to share with you some facts and ideas about fall prevention that may save you or your loved ones’ lives. While we know that everything is in Hashem’s hands, we also have the mitzva of “V’nishmartem meod l’nafshoseichem,” to take appropriate precautions to guard our health, which is the background to this article and to the approach I take with my patients.
Are you or someone you know at high risk of falling? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a person who has fallen once or twice over the past 12 months with a resulting traumatic injury (for example, a broken hip) is likely to be at high risk of falls. If you or one of your loved ones is in this category, preventing further falls is crucial. Some people believe themselves impervious to future falls, despite having fallen “only” a few times and suffering “only” a few broken bones. If you or someone you know is in this category, here are some more facts that may put things into perspective: