The primary purpose of the Balance and Falls SIG is to provide a forum for the increase of knowledge and quality of Physical Therapy practice in relation to older persons with balance problems and an increased risk for falling.

Resources include, But are not limited to:
    • Programs at Combined Sections Meeting (CSM)
    • Regular articles in GeriNotes
    • Journal Club Discussions
    • Quarterly news postings to the web page
    • OPEN ACCESS Toolkits to improve clinical management through presentation of resources and existing literature
    • Annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Day Kick Off Calls and Events
    • “Ask the Research Liaison”: Email us with your burning questions and get an evidence-informed answer from the BF SIG Research Liaison
    • Monthly Challenge Mailing List

There are many opportunities for participation, so please consider getting involved! To participate or learn more about current SIG activities and projects, contact the SIG chair at agptbalanceandfallssig@gmail.com or check out available postings on APTA Engage.

SIG LEADERSHIP

  • CHAIR: Heidi Moyer, PT, DPT
  • VICE CHAIR: Haim Nesser, PT, DPT
  • SECRETARY: Beth Castellini, PT
  • CLINICAL LIAISONS: Stefanie Bond, PT, DPT; Anne Reilley, PT, DPT; and Heather Timothy, PT, MSPT
  • RESEARCH LIAISON: Jennifer Gindoff, PT, DPT, DHSc
  • EARLY CAREER PROFESSIONAL LIAISON: Holly Bennett, PT, DPT and Kimberlyn Thomas, PT, DPT
  • COMMUNITY LIAISON: Tammy McHugh, PT, DPT
  • KNOWLEDGE TRANSLATION LIAISON: Deborah Constantine, PT
  • PTA LIAISON: OPEN
  • EARLY CAREER PROFESSIONAL LIAISON: Holly Bennett, PT, DPT and Kimberlyn Thomas PT, DPT
  • STUDENT LIAISON: Sarah Roberts, SPT

BF SIG News

Balance and Falls SIG Update – 4th quarter 2022

December 16, 2022

Greetings APTA Geriatrics BF SIG Members and Happy Holiday Season! 

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for us in the BF SIG and we wanted to provide a final yearly update for SIG Activities as well as some announcements for CSM! 

  • CSM ANNOUNCEMENTS: The BF SIG is co-sponsoring two sessions at CSM. We would love to see our members in the audience! 
  • Annual Member Meeting Feb 2023: Look for further communication for our virtual members meeting to be hosted in early February 2023! 
  • National Falls Prevention Awareness Week (NFPAW) 2022: The BF SIG was SO proud of the activities held during NFPAW 2022. Activities led by the SIG included
    • APTA Geriatrics Twitter Takeover (Monday)
    • APTA Geriatrics Journal Club (Tuesday)
    • Increased social media presence via APTA Geriatrics, APTA Oncology, and Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy 
    • Successful PT Day of Service Campaign to promote more involvement in NFPAW activities 
    • Stay tuned for our kick off call in June 2023 for next year’s NFPAW! 
  • Welcome to Two New Liaisons! The Balance and Falls SIG is excited to welcome two knew liaisons to the team:
    • Student Liaison: Sarah Roberts, SPT
    • Clinical Liaison: Anne Reilley, PT, DPT
  • Student Liaison: Sarah assisted in curating student-focused information regarding balance and falls to post to the APTA Geriatrics social media pages and will be assisting with the NFPAW toolkit. 
  • Early Career Professional Liaisons: Holly and Kimma are continuing to work on their Neuro-Geri Balance and Falls Toolkits to provide clinicians with fast and easy access to clinical tools to address concerns in older adults with neurologic impairments. 
  • Research Liaison: Jennifer ‘s article on mobility programs in LTCFs was published in the Focus Edition of the November GeriNotes. She is also working on another article related to “Safe Landing Strategies” to hopefully be published in the March Edition, so keep an eye out for that! 
  • Clinical Liaisons: Anne, Heather, and Stefanie are currently planning the 2023 calendar for the Monthly Challenge topics.  Stay tuned for a FABULOUS line up of brand new content!
  • Community Outreach Liaison: Tammy is hard at work creating a new resource for NFPAW 2023 with suggestions for activities across practice and specialty settings to improve involvement. More details to come on this soon with a projected launch in June 2023! 
  • Secretary: Beth led an amazing Journal Club Case Study discussion on September 20th about the use of the 4 stage balance test in a patient who might not typically be considered for dynamic multi-directional balance training. A big thanks to Jen for helping to get that case study print-ready for the August GeriNotes! 

As chair of the BF SIG, I want to wish everyone a prosperous holiday season and a happy new year! Thank you for all you do for older adults. 

Heidi S. Moyer, PT, DPT

From Our Members: A Mind-Body Approach to Fall Prevention

October 10, 2022

Imagine if you could help your patient reduce their risk of falling by teaching them to use a simple ABC system prior to them beginning a come-to-standing or walking task. Teaching them how and why to Align, do conscious Breathing, and focus or Center on the activity they are about to do is one of several “mind-body” approaches that may help them prepare mentally and physically for any motor activity

Try it yourself. Take a few moments to become conscious of your posture, slow your breathing down and become present to the moment. Use the moment to visualize yourself coming to standing, with support if necessary. You stop in an erect standing position. Then, before you start to walk, say to yourself, or out loud, “I am tall, strong and confident” as you proceed with the activity. You have just used The ABC system, in combination with visualization and positive self-talk to prepare your mind and body for safer and more efficient functioning.

Here’s a strategy helpful for patients paralyzed with “fear of falling.” I have had success by saying to them, “Yes, the fear is there, but tell it that you are not going to let it control you! You are going to control it!” This, in conjunction with the positive self-talk described above, has seemed to have an empowering effect on how patients progress with their gait and balance activities. The more any of us healthcare workers learn how to integrate mind-body techniques into our work, the safer and more effective our treatments will be, for our patients and ourselves! It can be as easy as ABC!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C. Vicki Gold, PT, MA is a retired physical therapist, currently living in Lenoir, North Carolina. Her 50-plus years in the profession have included work in several academic and multiple clinical settings. She is a former Director of the Physical Therapist Program at LaGuardia Community College in New York City. Ms. Gold’s work is based on her background with Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Alexander and Feldenkrais Techniques. She is a graduate of Sara Meeks, PT Seminars and has studied with Margaret Knott, PT (PNF) and Berta Bobath, PT (NDT) among others.

Vicki is the owner of Thera-Fitness and creator of The ABC System for Mind-Body Fitness and Well-Being. She can be reached at vicki@thera-fitness.com.

Balance and Falls SIG Update -3rd quarter 2022

October 10, 2022

Greetings APTA Geriatrics BF SIG Members,

The executive committee and other volunteers of the BF SIG are hard at work behind the scenes on several projects including the following:

  • Early Career Professional Liaisons Holly and Kimma are continuing to work on their Neuro-Geri Balance and Falls Toolkits to provide clinicians with fast and easy access to clinical tools to address concerns in older adults with neurologic impairments.
  • Research Liaison Jennifer will have her response to mobility programs in LTCFs published in the November Focus Edition of GeriNotes. She eagerly awaits new clinical questions to die deeper into!
  • Community Outreach Liaison Tammy coordinated a FABULOUS National Falls Prevention Awareness Day Kick Off Call in June with speakers from the BF SIGs of APTA Geriatrics, APTA Oncology, and Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy as well as the APTA Geriatrics State Advocates and a student panel! You can catch the recording on our webpage.
  • Secretary Beth led an amazing Journal Club Case Study discussion on September 20th about the use of the 4 stage balance test in a patient who might not typically be considered for dynamic multi-directional balance training. A big thanks to Jen for helping to get that case study print-ready for the August GeriNotes!
  • Clinical Liaisons Heather and Stefanie are hard at work continuing to create quality content for the BF SIG Monthly Challenge.
  • 2 programs were accepted from the BF SIG for APTA CSM 2023 in San Diego, CA: Solving the Balance Problem in Medically Complex Patients across the Lifespan (authored by Rachel Hac, Debbie Espy, and Heidi Moyer) and Joining the Fight for Parkinson’s: Combating Disease Progression Through Evidence-Informed Interventions Across the Continuum (authored by Haim, Heather, and Stefanie). Come check us out!
  • Vice-Chair Haim was interviewed for an Article in APTA Magazine titled “A Closer Look at Falls Prevention.” Thank you for representing us well!
  • The BF SIG Tri-Alliance Team of Geri, Neuro, and Oncology has officially launched their combined-efforts National Falls Prevention Awareness Day Campaign! Check out APTA Geriatrics social media for more details and pledge to participate in #NFPAW from September until October 8th on the PT Day of Service website!

Hope you enjoyed our twitter take over to kick off #NFPAW!

Check back in December for additional updates from quarter 4 and important pre-CSM announcements!

Open access documents available from Balance and Falls SIG Tri-Alliance Campaign

September 23, 2022

The APTA Geriatrics BF SIG is proud to announce that we have created a collaborative document sharing all our open access resources to help you better provide balance and falls prevention services in the community, clinic, and beyond. Please feel free to share this with anyone who might be interested.

Access the Tri-alliance Campaign

 

2022 Fall Prevention Awareness Day Kick Off Call Information

July 8, 2022

On June 29, 2022, the APTA Geriatrics BF SIG had their Annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Day Kick Off Call to assist members in beginning to brainstorm and plan their events and efforts for the week of September 18-24. Our Clinical Liaison, Tammy McHugh, served as the creator and master of ceremonies for the event. We were honored to host the following guest speakers for the evening:

  • Cathy Ciolek, APTA Geriatrics President
  • Governors State University DPT Student Speaker Miguel Musngi with Student Panel Members TaShea’ Moore, Daniel Kusper, and Andres Garcia
  • Deb Espy, Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy BF SIG Chair
  • Eric Galvez, APTA Oncology BF SIG Membership Chair
  • David Taylor, APTA Geriatrics House of Delegates Representative
  • Tammy McHugh, APTA Geriatrics BF SIG Community Outreach Liaison

Top resources that were shared during the call included:

A big thank you to all our speakers and to all those who attended! Did you miss the call? Listen to the call recording here or peruse through the call powerpoint.

Balance and Falls SIG Update – 2nd quarter 2022

June 28, 2022

Greetings BF SIG Members,

The executive committee and other volunteers of the BF SIG are hard at work behind the scenes on several projects including the following:

  • Early Career Professional Liaisons Holly and Kimma led the first meeting to coordinate our volunteers in starting to work on the BF SIG Neuro Toolkit.
  • Research Liaison Jennifer replied to a member question on mobility programs and fall risk. Keep an eye out in GeriNotes for her response!
  • Community Outreach Liaison Tammy is hard at work coordinating and creating the NFPAW Kick Off Call with a multitude of speakers including DPT students, leaders from the Oncology and Neurology section BF SIGs, APTA House of Delegates, and others.
  • Secretary Beth will be leading the case study discussion for the September 20th APTA Geriatrics Journal Club. Check out the case ahead of time in GeriNotes.
  • Clinical Liaisons Heather and Stefanie are hard at work continuing to create quality content for the BF SIG Monthly Challenge. We are also looking for a new Clinical Liaison to join our team, check out APTA Engage for details.
  • CSM 2023 programming was submitted by Chair Heidi; Vice-Chair Haim; Clinical Liaisons Stefanie and Heather; and Early Career Professional Liaisons Holly and Kimma.
  • Several articles are in the cue for GeriNotes including community fall prevention efforts led by DPT students form Governors State University, clinical balance and falls management in older adults through the perspective of an early career professional, as well as a case study in using the 4 square step test following hip fracture.

 

Check back in September for additional updates from quarter 3!

Balance and Falls SIG Member Resources

Outcome Measure Toolkit for Geriatric Fall/Balance Assessment

The Balance and Falls Special Interest Group of the APTA Geriatrics developed this toolkit as an updated summary of current outcome measures related to balance and fall risk assessment. It is available, OPEN ACCESS here:

Falls Prevention Awareness Toolkit: A Comprehensive Guide to Professional & Community Engagement, 2nd Edition

The Falls Prevention Awareness Toolkit developed by the Balance and Falls Special Interest Group of the APTA Geriatrics is available, OPEN ACCESS below.

The resources provided within the toolkit are designed to assist clinicians and students in creating and/or improving their community-based falls prevention events by utilizing current evidence and a wide-variety of quality resources.

The Monthly Challenge

Every month, as part of an optional mailing list, we send out an email with a quick summary of a topic related to balance and falls management in older adults. Emails are sent out on the first of each month, and those that join the mailing list are able to access the last 2 years of materials as well. If you wish to join and get this information sent directly to your inbox each month for you to use same day, email us at agptbalanceandfallssig@gmail.com .

Video: Working on Balance and Fall Prevention at Home. Developed by the NSGA/APTA Geriatrics Task Force

How to conduct virtual fall prevention

by Jennifer Nash, APTA-Geri State Advocate for Nevada Click here to Download

From the 2020 BFSIG Falls Prevention Awareness Week Brainstorming Webinar and Guest Presentation on Virtual Balance Assessment from Winston-Salem State University, July 28, 2020

Links of Interest