About the Book

As Alvord explains in this comprehensive guide to falls prevention, diagnosis, and therapy, more than one-third of adults ages 65 or older fall each year. Among seniors, falls are the underlying cause of a large proportion of fatal traumatic brain injuries. On the positive side, much can be done to prevent injury from falls in the aging population. This book is an ideal guide for clinicians who see patients at risk for falling. It provides complete assessment and treatment plans, incorporating the most recent developments of new balance test equipment and techniques for balance function rehabilitation. The detailed section on assessment covers vestibular, cardiovascular, neurological, rheumatology, metabolic, orthopedic, psychological, cognitive, visual and physical therapy factors. Therapy and prevention chapters cover physical therapy, occupational therapy, and exercise and behavioral modification. A final chapter explains falls prevention programs and clinics. Case studies throughout illustrate successful versus unsuccessful assessment and treatment programs.

About the Author

Dr. Alvord professional career began, having received a degree in chemistry from Weber State University, at Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, where he was co-author in research involving transplantation of pancreatic islet cells. Being introduced to the field of audiology by a co-worker, Dr. Alvord received a Ph.D. in audiology at the University of Utah, where he was a Marriner S. Eccles fellow. After working at the Veterans Administration Hospital, VA West Side in Chicago for three years, he returned as a member of the faculty at the University of Utah, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, where he was tenured and achieved the rank of Associate Professor, where he remained for 15 years. He returning to clinical practice as a Senior Staff Audiologist at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, where he is currently directing of the vestibular and falls programs. Dr. Alvord has published many papers and two previous book chapters, focusing primarily in the areas of vestibular assessment and functional imaging of auditory areas of the brain. He has lectured and presented papers at numerous national and international meetings, including teaching assignments in Bolivia and Brazil. He has served in Partners of the Americas, where he hosted numerous visiting physicians from South America, setting up educational experiences in otolaryngology in the United States. He has served as past president of Handtronix, Inc., a manufacturer of hand held audiometers. He is husband to Bonnie Alvord, interior designer, father of four children and musician in his spare time.

Table Of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Scope of the Problem – Hope for Solutions
  • Balance and Mobility
  • Why We Fall
  • Dizziness as a Symptom
  • The Falls Clinic and Examination
  • Preventing Falls
  • Falls Prevention in Hospitals and Nursing Facilities
  • Case Studies
  • Appendix A: Suggested Additional Readings on Gait
  • Appendix B: Example Falls Clinic Reports and Sample Blank Forms
  • Appendix C: Safety Checklist
  • Appendix D: Alvord Falls Screening Test
  • Index


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