2. Factors Related to Fall: Physical, Functional, Medical & Environmental
For the treating therapist, it is paramount to understand that the causes of falling are often multifactorial, with intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors playing critical roles in exposing the older adult to higher fall risk. Understanding these factors--as well as the age-related physiologic changes associated with falling, the impact of disease states on balance, the importance of nutrition for mitigating fall risk, the role of medications and polypharmacy in increased fall risk, and how the environment elevates fall potential--is important when comprehensively treating the older adult. Using screening tools that require patient self-assessment, as well as clinic balance and mobility testing, helps to better define the problem of fall risk and ultimately provides the therapist with the means to address this complex problem.