Thu, Nov. 14

EntireCare uses grant to reduce falls at Cottonwood Village

With the help of an evidence-based practice grant from the Northern Arizona Healthcare Foundation, the EntireCare Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine Experts Department succeeded in lowering the number of falls at Cottonwood Village, an assisted- and independent-living facility in Cottonwood.

Falls, a common risk for the elderly, can result in significant financial and medical consequences.

In 2013, Cottonwood Village reported 22 falls among its 134 residents. The facility reached out to EntireCare at Verde Valley Medical Center in order to develop a cost-effective, physical therapy-related strategy to decrease the number of falls.

Steve Romfo, P.T., presented a lecture to elderly residents who expressed interest in balance and fall management. The lecture included an explanation of various balance strategies with a focus on oculomotor exercises to fine-tune the muscles that coordinate eye movement. A lack of eye movement coordination with head and body movement is correlated with falling.

In addition, the residents were encouraged to attend a 30-minute seated exercise class five times a week. The class included balance exercises such as standing and visually tracking objects; head nods and head turns; standing pivot and squat pivot exercises. About 30 residents stayed involved in the exercise class over a period of six months.

During the first half of 2014, Cottonwood Village reported only three falls, a significant reduction from 22 falls in the 12 months of 2013.

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