MU Health Care hosts screening event for risk of falls

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COLUMBIA – MU Health Care provided free fall prevention screening services to the community on Friday.

The event was held just a day after the National Council on Aging’s ninth Annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day.

“September, we kind of do a pun on the first day of fall, we do a ‘fall free’ event,” physical therapist Evan Prost said. “So we do fall risk screenings for older adults who live in the community.”

Falls are the second biggest reason people go to the trauma center at University Hospital, according to outreach coordinator Kassie Campbell.

She said the center sees around 300 falls a year.

The event provided information on fall-related issues like hearing and balance and vision.

MU Health Care specialists from departments of ophthalmology, physical therapy and otolaryngology were present.

Residents participated in a variety of tests.

“The CDC has a collection of evidence-based tests which we perform for the individuals, things like how you walk, how you get up and down from a chair, how your balance is standing on one leg,” Prost said. “All these things collectively tell us if you have a risk for falling.”

Using the tests, specialists like Prost decide whether or not the participants should talk about their risks with a doctor.

“Once we find that out, then we make a recommendation, give that piece of paper to the person to take to their physician the next visit,” he said.