Fall Prevention In The Elderly Humans have walked for thousands of years.
The oldest known evidence of hominid bipedal locomotion was found in 1978 in Africa. Scientists studied the way the adult walked along her child; both are trying not to slip. These footprints were dated back to 3.7 million years ago. Dr.
Lockhart has conducted studies and research about fall prevention and the system of falling. Intentional and accidental falls are the leading cause of death, making it one of the major health problems globally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were a total of 31,959 numbers of deaths as a result of unintentional falls. However, there aren’t many precautions and awareness about it. Drinking and driving awareness is far more common than fall prevention.
Current interventions are fall preventions and fall protections. Environmental control and fall risk assessments are all considered precautions to avoid falls and injuries. Additionally, strength, balance and endurance training is another way for fall prevention. As for fall protection, Personal Protection Equipment or simply (PPE) is used to shield the individual’s body from any potential injury or trauma from falling. Personal Protection Equipment such as helmets, harnesses and kneepads are essential because it protects workers from hazards at the workplace. Nowadays, the elderly are prone to falling and injuring themselves more than adults and children. Elders fall more often because of cognitive impairments, muscle weakness and gait adaptations.
Their gait is usually slow-paced and they take smaller steps. They walk this way to avoid any slips and falls. Elders can have a fear of falling (FOF). Fear of falling is a major problem in the elderly; most develop (FOF) due to a previous fall that has possibly resulted in an injury. This can lead them to restrict mobility and activity.
Older adults might walk less and move less due to their fear thus resulting in the loss of muscle activity and strength. Dr. Lockhart conducted research about the mechanism of falling, measurement of the posture and gait of a person and calculated the possible impact and trauma on the body if a slippage or a fall occurred.
After a couple of years of research, Dr. Lockhart has developed an app called “Lockhart Monitor” available for everyone to use on their smartphones. This application gathers information about the user’s movement. Also, it calculates the stability of the posture. Data can be accessed by medical professionals to monitor the patient’s health. Furthermore, Dr.
Lockhart’s research helped develop occupational training programs to prevent falls in certain workplaces.