By |Published On: March 22nd, 2024|Categories: Clinician Information|

Veterans face unique challenges that increase their risk of falling.

Risk of Falling

Risk Factors

Actions and factors to consider when clinicians prescribe fall recovery and mobility aids to Veterans for use in their homes include:

  • Physical Disabilities: Veterans with physical disabilities, such as limb amputations, spinal cord injuries, or mobility impairments (e.g., Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis), may experience difficulties with balance, coordination, and muscle strength.
  • Chronic Health Conditions: Many disabled Veterans have chronic health conditions (such as diabetes, heart disease, or neurological disorders) that affect their overall well-being.
  • Medications: Some medications commonly prescribed to Veterans (such as pain relievers, muscle relaxants, or antidepressants) can cause dizziness, drowsiness, or impaired balance.
  • Mental Health: Veterans dealing with mental health conditions (such as post-traumatic stress disorder or depression) may experience cognitive challenges, affecting their attention, awareness, and judgment.
  • Environmental Factors: Home hazards (such as clutter, poor lighting, or uneven surfaces) can pose a significant risk. Disabled Veterans should ensure their living environment is safe and accessible.

Clinical Assessment

  • Healthcare providers can conduct fall risk assessments of disabled Veterans. Assessments typically evaluate upper body strength, balance, vision, medication use, and mobility impairment.
  • Recommendations may include special home adaptations (ramps, wheelchair lifts, bathroom/bedroom modifications, home automation/lighting), exercise programs, and the prescription of personal assistive devices and mobility aids tailored to the mental and physical needs of each Veteran.

Clinical Prescriptions

  • Assistive Devices: Proper use and training with assistive devices, such as canes, walkers, rollators, wheelchairs, and patient lifts, is critical to maintaining mobility and independence. Veterans should receive training on how to use these devices in their homes from their prescribing physicians. Veterans can be trained using the ResQUp in combination with these assistive devices during the fall recovery process.
  • Physical Activity: Engaging in regular physical activity helps maintain strength, balance, and flexibility to lessen the risk of falling. Veterans should work with healthcare providers to develop appropriate exercise routines to be performed in their homes. The ResQUp can is useful as therapeutic exercise tool to improve the range of motion and functional strength of Veterans.
  • Fall Recovery: Self-help fall recovery devices, such as the ResQUp, can be used by Veterans in many situations to safely and simply get up from the floor to a seated or standing position after a non-injurious fall.

A Reminder to Veterans and Their Caregivers

Fall prevention is key to your safety and mobility. If you’re a disabled Veteran, or know someone who is, consider discussing fall prevention strategies with a VA healthcare provider. Together, the VA community of care is intended to promote the dignity, independence and well-being of Veterans and take that responsibility very seriously.

Click here to learn more about the ResQUp.

The ResQUp

ResQUp - A recovery device to help you get up from the floor in the case of a fall

Safari Brown

ResQUp - A recovery device to help you get up from the floor in the case of a fall