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A balanced life: Check your risk for a fall

Health and Wellness, Health Alert, Aspire Orthopedic Institute

Do you worry about your balance? Do you fear you may fall at home or when you’re out and about? Or do you have these concerns about someone you love?
 

There is good reason to be concerned. The Centers for Disease Control report one in 5 falls results in a serious injury, like a broken bone or a head injury. 
 

The rehab team at Adventist Health Portland offers an easy quiz to help you check your risk for a fall. The quiz is also available as a printable PDF.

Falling risk quiz

Think about each statement and circle “Yes” if it sounds like you or “No” if it doesn’t.
 

  • I have fallen in the past year: YES (2 points) or NO
  •  I use or have been advised to use a cane or walker to get around safely: YES (2 points) or NO
  • Sometimes I feel unsteady when I am walking: YES (1 point) or NO
  • I steady myself by holding onto furniture when walking at home: YES (1 point) or NO
  • I am worried about falling: YES (1 point) or NO
  • I need to push with my hands to stand up from a chair: YES (1 point) or NO
  • I have some trouble stepping up onto a curb: YES (1 point) or NO
  • I often have to rush to the toilet: YES (1 point) or NO
  • I have lost some feeling in my feet: YES (1 point) or NO
  • I take medicine that sometimes makes me feel lightheaded or more tired than usual: YES (1 point) or NO
  • I take medicine to help me sleep or improve my mood: YES (1 point) or NO
  • I often feel sad or depressed: YES (1 point) or NO
     

Now add up the number of points for each “yes” you circled. Here’s what your score means:

  • Less than 4 points: You have a Low risk of falling.
  • 4 to 6 points: You have an increased risk for falls.
  • More than 6 points: You have a high risk of falling.

If you scored at or above 4 points, use the Centers for Disease Control fall prevention checklist to find and fix hazards in your home that might lead to a fall.
 

You should also let your primary care provider know you have higher risks of falling. Ask if fall prevention therapy might be helpful to your risks. You can call Adventist Health rehabilitation services at 503-261-6962 for more information and to schedule an appointment.