The 85+ Lifestyle Leaders group met at the MIT AgeLab for a workshop on falls prevention. The group was led by two guest speakers: Shan Liu, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital; and Allie Godsey, a graduate student at Boston College School of Social Work.
Dr. Liu spoke to the group about her efforts to reduce the risk of falling following a patient's visit to the emergency department for a fall-related injury. Patients who enter the emergency room for a fall have a fifty percent chance of returning again in the next 6 months, with half of those cases resulting from a second fall. The efforts of emergency department physicians are primarily toward treating immediate injuries sustained from a fall, with less attention paid to mitigating the risk of a future incident. Liu queried the Lifestyle Leaders about their interest in receiving education about falls prevention through a web-based app while waiting to be treated at the emergency department.
Following Liu's presentation and discussion, Ms. Godsey conducted a falls prevention session for the Lifestyle Leaders. Godsey is an intern at Ethos, the Aging Services Access Point for Southwest Boston. At Ethos, she has been trained to conduct a falls prevention course titled "A Matter of Balance." Godsey led the group in a series of stretches and movements that, if done regularly, can be used to improve strength and balance for older adults.