This talk addresses the hugely important topic of falling incidents among older adults both from a research and practical perspective. The fear of falling (Ptophobia) can be debilitating and in some cases can lead to older adults becoming bed ridden. Falls are one of the primary causes of death for older adults over 65 and often lead to a down spiral in physical and emotional health. There are many reasons why older adults are at the risk of falling, from vision impairment to medical imbalance. This is why solutions have to be human centered and specific to an individual’s needs and circumstances.
Kathy Orsini, MSW is an oncology social worker at the Alta Bates Summit Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 2004 she began learning about falls among older adults as a health risk issue with risks that can be reduced by simple interventions. Her graduate school research focused on the effect of chemotherapy on patients’ sense of balance.In her day-to-day work, she provides resources and motivational discussions to help patients who are at risk of falling. See also related discussion in a recent NYTimes article: “Bracing for the Falls of an Aging Nation”