ERSC Hosted Physical Therapist to Discuss Preventing Falls
Jeremy Whitmore, DPT, Center Manager of the Elkton branch of Advantage Physical Therapy, met with 23 East Rockingham Senior Center members, three volunteers and two guests on Dec. 3 to discuss preventing falls.
As part of his nearly 60-minute talk, “Jeremy,” as he preferred to be called, explained the extensive educational requirements that must be met in order to become a physical therapist, which results in a doctorate degree. This allows for ‘direct access’ to clients so a physician referral is NOT required. He explained that the Elkton branch opened in July and is extremely busy meeting the needs of all age groups. He mentioned that Medicaid, Medicare and all types of insurance is accepted and that no one is turned down because they do not have insurance or are unable to pay.
During his official presentation, the following facts regarding fall risks were cited: one out of three people over the age of 65 experience a fall; for those over age 85, two out of three experience a fall and two thirds of those will fall again. Other statistics he cited included: 9,500 deaths occur due to falls; one out of 200 falls for the 65-85 year age group results in death; and for persons over 85 years, the risk of injury significantly increases and often results in loss of independent living. For many folks who do experience a fall, he said many have underlying conditions such as osteoporosis, and he noted that calcium rich foods and Vitamin D can be of benefit. Changes in vision can also increase the chances of a person falling, and that lack of physical exercise can cause weakness. Jeremy’s advice to those in attendance was to “keep moving!” Other risk factors for falls can be attributed to environmental hazards, such as tripping over a throw rug or a pet.
Jeremy’s very personable and informal approach during his first visit to our Center made everyone feel at ease and eager to ask questions. And, he met one-on-one with many of the attendees. Everyone was delighted in the fact that Jeremy took time to critique our sit and fit exercise routine and view the many amenities offered at our Center’s meeting location, including exercise equipment and the walking track. He also spoke of his desire to continue visits to our Center to discuss specific health topics, possibly to include other professionals from his office. The fact that he spent two and a half hours with us today and joined us for lunch proves that he is truly interested in continuing a relationship with our members and for our community!