In the realm of senior care and senior care facilities, few topics take as much precedence as fall prevention. As a serious concern for many seniors and their families, it’s important to find a facility that recognizes the dangers and works to combat them early on.
For Rittenhouse Village at Portage, fall prevention is a key aspect of their care. Rather than taking a reactive stance, and fighting the issue only after a fall, Rittenhouse seeks out any possible issues and take steps to lower risk before a problem arises.
“Rittenhouse has decided to take a proactive approach to not only reducing falls, but increasing overall, healthy aging,” explained Blake Wiseman, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Owner of both Priority Rehab and Wellness, and Back Home Again. “They want to create a proactive approach to reducing falls but also to increasing everyone's overall fitness.”
Dr. Wiseman works with Rittenhouse frequently to recognize potential issues and create methods of reducing risk. From installing grab bars in bathrooms to implementing classes aimed at strengthening muscles, Rittenhouse has taken many steps to aid their residents and make their life as safe as possible.
“We preach prevention. We want to set people up with preventative measures ahead of time so the therapist doesn’t come in after a fall,” said Wiseman.
One of the many things that Rittenhouse and Wiseman team up on is called vestibular framing. According to Wiseman, the vestibular system is located in the inner ear and is directly related to a patient’s balance.
“As we age, the vestibular system naturally begins to hypofunction, as you see, older individuals often look toward the ground because they’re unsure of their steps. The vestibular system responds to rotation and acceleration of the head,” Explained Wiseman. “It’s a use it or lose it principle. If you’re not stimulating that system by incorporating exercises where you close your eyes and turn your head, that system isn’t getting stimulated so it begins to hypofunction. Your balance decreases and your fall risk increases as a result.”
Providing rehabilitation for the vestibular system isn’t the only rehabilitation offered for residents of Rittenhouse, though. There are also classes aimed to increase leg strength, allowing residents to be more confident in their steps. Additionally, the whole team works to create a safe environment for residents to live in.
“Strengthening the legs is a workshop for everyone to attend,” said Wiseman. “Rittenhouse will also work on balance with physical therapy and the occupational therapists come in early and set up to be sure the apartment and bathroom is safe. It’s a collective approach and a team effort. The nurses do a nice job of letting us know if they identify someone who is a fall risk.”
For Rittenhouse Villages, creating a safe, comfortable environment for their residents is of the utmost importance. Just one of the many ways they accomplish this is through preventative measures and rehabilitation services that not only protect their residents, but also improve their quality of life.