Fall Prevention

COPC Cares About Your Safety

For many older adults, the possibility of a fall is something they may not even consider until after they have already fallen. At COPC, our goal is to intercept and educate our older patients about their fall risk as a preventative measure, instead of dealing with a fall after the fact. Through our insightful and dynamic program, you will become more empowered to safely enjoy your life.

You can beat the odds

Our program makes it possible!

Older adults account for 16% of the Ohio population



Yet they account for 85% of fatal falls in Ohio



Our program has been proven to reduce falls by at least 30%



View Program Information

Fall Prevention Class Locations

If you are interested in participating in our fall prevention classes, please contact your COPC physician for a referral.

Westerville Fall Prevention - 655 Africa Road

Westerville

Eastside Fall Prevention

Reynoldsburg

Olentangy Fall Prevention

Columbus

Westerville Fall Prevention - 625 Africa Road

Westerville

"The leaders were very good and made the class interesting and very helpful – should be a big help for me in the future."

Fall Prevention Safety Tips

  • Keep the floors and walkways clear in your home. Make sure your rugs are secure and don't have any rips or tears.

  • Check the rubber feet and grips on your cane. Replace the parts if they are worn or torn.

  • Keep your stairwells clear at all times. Do not place items on the steps or the handrails.

  • Know where your pets are before you go up or down stairs. Consider using gates to keep them off the stairs while you are using them.

  • Regularly review your medications with your doctor. Make sure the side effects aren't increasing your risk for a fall.

  • Keep battery powered lights and flashlights handy. Storms can cause the power to go out, which can limit your ability to see obstacles.

  • Get your hearing and vision checked on a regular basis. Make sure your glasses prescription is correct and update it if needed.

  • Don’t borrow someone else’s cane or walker unless it can be adjusted to work properly with your body.

  • Be sure to have secure handrails, fix all broken steps, and have proper lighting at the top and bottom of your stairwell.

  • Watch for loose gravel and cracks in the concrete. They can make walking as dangerous as icy conditions.

  • Rain storms can cause debris to cover or block walkways. Be alert to obstacles in your path. If you don’t feel safe on a path, find another way.

  • Have handrails next to the tub and toilet in your bathroom, as well as a non-slip mat and/or chair in the shower.

  • Never walk or drive into flood waters! Standing water can make you trip, and moving water can knock you off your feet.

  • Exercise can provide a double benefit for falls prevention. Not only does it strengthen your muscles, but it also keeps your mind sharp and improves your coordination.

Fall Prevention Class Outline


Session 1

INTRODUCTION

Getting to know each other, overview the program, share fall experiences, and choose the topics you want to cover. A guest expert will introduce the balance and strength exercises.


Session 2

THE EXERCISES AND MOVING ABOUT SAFELY

Review and practice exercises with the guest expert, explore the barriers and benefits of exercise, talk about moving about safely — chairs and steps, and learn how not to panic after a fall.


Session 3

ADVANCING EXERCISES AND HOME HAZARDS

Review and practice exercises, discuss when and how to upgrade your exercises, identify hazards in and about the home, and talk about problem-solving solutions.


Session 4

VISION AND FALLS, COMMUNITY SAFETY, AND FOOTWEAR

Review and practice exercises. Guest experts will discuss the influence of vision on the risk of falling and talk about strategies to get around the local community to reduce the risk of falling. You will also learn about the features of a safe shoe and identify clothing hazards.


Session 5

MEDICATION MANAGEMENT, BONE HEALTH, AND SLEEPING BETTER

Identify the importance of Vitamin D, sunlight, and calcium to protect from fall injuries. The guest expert will talk about medications that increase the risk for falls. You will also learn about strategies to sleep better.


Session 6

GETTING OUT AND ABOUT

We will talk about hip protectors and give you the opportunity to see and try them out. Additionally, we will explore different weather conditions that could lead to a fall. With the guest expert, we will practice safe mobility techniques learned during the program in a nearby outdoor location and review exercises.


Session 7

REVIEW AND PLAN AHEAD

We will review exercises, personal accomplishments from the past 7 weeks, and any other topics the class may request. Additionally, we will reflect on the scope of the things learned. If needed, we will finish any segment that was not adequately completed and have time for farewells/closure.


3 Month Booster Session

KEEPING IN-TOUCH

Support the follow-up of preventive strategies and assist with modifications.

"Keep up the very good work as it is really needed by us old folks."

Meet the Fall Prevention Team

Christine Geller

BS, PTA


Christie Geller earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from The University of Dayton prior to completing the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Shawnee State University. She has worked as a PTA for the last five years in both the outpatient and skilled nursing environments. Prior to her time with COPC, she spent six years in the corporate wellness profession managing an onsite employee wellness center. Christie has a passion for helping her patients return to their prior level of function and enhance their overall quality of life.

Mary Kay Rohrkemper

MS, AT-Ret, PT


Mary Kay Rohrkemper is currently the Physical Therapy Manager for Central Ohio Primary Care Physicians Physical Therapy. Mary Kay worked as a high school teacher for five years and a high school athletic trainer for 15 years before earning her physical therapy degree. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education from the University of Dayton, Master of Science degree with a specialization in Athletic Training from Ohio University and Master of Physical Therapy degree from Andrews University.

Mary Kay’s career has been dedicated to helping her patients reach their maximum potential whether that is as a professional athlete, weekend warrior, or being able to walk without pain or fear of falling. She has extensive experience working with patients with orthopedic problems as well as balance disorders. Mary Kay has lectured at local and national conferences on a variety of topics in the area of outpatient physical therapy and athletic training.

Mary Hughes

Peer Leader


Mary earned her PhD in Adult and Higher Education from OSU. Stepping On combines her commitment to lifelong learning and her desire to increase well-being at every age. She retired after 30+ years as a professor at Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University.

Teresa “Terri” Hazucha

Peer Leader


As a teacher, licensed Athletic Trainer and medical practice administrator, Terri enjoyed a 35 plus year career holding positions at Otterbein University, St. Ann’s Hospital Sports Medicine, The Ohio State University Sports Medicine Center and the Dublin City Schools. Now retired, Terri enjoys being able to set her own schedule, spend time with family and friends, travel and volunteer. Terri sees great value in assisting others to improve their mobility, strength and balance.  Regardless of where a person begins, the goal is to maximize one’s abilities, confidence and independence. This can be accomplished through the power of shared experiences and adult group learning. Let’s keep “Stepping On.”

Adena Moore

Peer Leader


Adena has worked with both young and adult learners for more than thirty years, in fields ranging from business to medical informatics. She's an informal IT consultant to friends and family, and stays active keeping up with grand kids and a rescue dog named Liffey.