New Delhi: The national capital has got its first dedicated clinic to treat people vulnerable to falls leading to injury through prevention, knowledge and awareness, leading to an improvement in their health and well-being. An emerging concept, not only in India but globally, the fall clinic will carry out a ‘Fall Risk Assessment’ of patients and then offer a fall prevention plan that will be custom made to the patient’s requirement depending upon risk factors identified.
Dr. (Major) Rajesh Bhardwaj, Director, Medfirst Healthcare Pvt Ltd, who is the brainchild behind the concept says that fall clinic will introduce steps that senior citizens and other vulnerable sections of society can take to reduce falls.
“My mother was prone to falling and had a bad fall a few years ago. This prompted me to look into this area and to find out more. As our population ages the total incidence of falls will increase. At the same time, our enhanced understanding of the problem ensures that more falls are being reported than before,” Dr. Bhardwaj, ENT Specialist.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) global report on falls prevention, people aged 65 years and above fall about 28% to 35% of time in each year and this proportion increases as age and frailty level increase. The prevalence of falls in India, above the age of 60 years, is reported to be in the range 14% to 53%.
A trained ENT Specialist or Otorhinolaryngologist, Dr. Bhardwaj says that, musculoskeletal, visual, neurological factors, hearing impairment, medication and faulty design – rooms, lighting etc. are common causes of such falls reported among senior citizens. “By showing empathy, support, introducing design improvement, showing patience by not hurrying them when walking with them etc., one can be more mindful of senior citizens who are vulnerable to fall,” he says.