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New System for Assessing Risk of Falls in the Elderly Displayed Wednesday
5/20/2002

FORT MYERS, FL - Bob Henderson of Vestibular Technologies in Tampa will present the new Comprehensive Assessment of Postural Systems designed to help medical providers screen patients for early identification of balance problems and risk of falls, from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 22 in Griffin Hall Room 102 at Florida Gulf Coast University.

CAPS takes place as part of the routine weigh-in during a patient visit. A special scale developed by Vestibular not only obtains the patient’s weight, it also prints a report indicating the patient’s maximum sway and a stability score. The report includes normal scores for a person of the patient’s age for comparison.

In addition, the report also states the date, patient’s age, gender, height, weight and body mass index. The whole process takes less than a minute to compute.

Another version of the machine further identifies patients with possible hearing or vision problems and takes an additional three to four minutes to process.

CAPS is an answer to the American Geriatrics Society’s Guidelines for the Prevention of Falls in Older Persons which states, “All physicians should assess older patients for falls risk and intervene by providing gait training. They should also review medications, recommend exercise programs that include balance training, and refer for home evaluations.”

Medicare now requires nursing homes to report all falls and states are adopting best practices recommendations strongly urging facilities to institute and maintain fall prevention plans, such as the Florida Injury Prevention for Seniors Program.

Florida Department of Health Deputy Secretary Wayne McDaniel says that more adults 65 and older annually die from fall-related injuries than from any other cause.

In 1998, over 38,000 senior citizens in Florida were hospitalized for injuries due to falls, with 217 of them dying from traumatic brain or spinal cord injury.

Vestibular Technologies, which researches, develops and manufactures medical products, is closely allied with the Division of Otolaryngology at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Department of Surgery and the SIU Vestibular and Falls clinics, as well as the Department of Otolaryngology of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

The FGCU Southwest Florida Center for Positive Aging is sponsoring the presentation.

For more information about the presentation, contact Center director Linda Buettner at (941) 590-7497.

For more information about Vestibular Technologies, contact Henderson at (813) 994-4058 or visit the company online at www.preventfalls.com.

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