Care Providers Asked to Understand Fall Risk Factors Associated with Cardiovascular Disease
The American Heart Association recently released a statement in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes claiming clinicians underestimate the risk of falls in individuals who have cardiovascular disease despite this population having an increased risk because of their diagnosis, reports McKnight’s.
According to collected data, adults with cardiovascular disease have a 40 to 60 percent chance of falling. Authors attribute this to several factors including orthostatic hypotension, medications that are associated with falls, physical weakness and abnormal balance and gait.
Authors of the statement are asking clinicians who care for these adults to be more aware of the associated risks to help prevent falls. Since clinicians work closely with these individuals, they have the opportunity to understand their needs and where assistance can be offered.
In addition, clinicians can conduct an assessment of these adults which can include review of their medications. Clinicians can also better understand the diagnoses to learn if there is existing structural heart disease or arrhythmias. As part of a comprehensive care team, physical and occupational therapists can offer expert advice and care to address these fall risk factors.
Cornerstone Rehab offers physical and occupational therapy to older adults in skilled nursing settings who may have these associated risk factors for falls due to cardiovascular disease. Our clinicians work closely with residents, families and other members of the care team to help prevent and treat falls.
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