One of the goals for the National Council on
Aging is to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among
older adults, which is why Falls Prevention Awareness Day is being held today
in hopes of educating others about the impact of falls and to share prevention
strategies. At UPHS – Bell, Physical Therapist Carley Maanika specializes in
preventing dangerous falls.
“A lot of people think that as they get older losing
their balance is normal, but it doesn’t have to be,” she said. “Balance is kind
of like a “use it or lose it” type of thing. For some people who aren’t as
active as they were before, they don’t have the same reaction time or strength
and balance to do it without falling.
This year marks the 12th annual Falls
Prevention Awareness Day. During the 2018 FPA Day, 2.5 million individuals took
part in fall risk screenings, community-based falls prevention programs and
public awareness events. If you’re someone who thinks falling could be an issue
for you, Carley suggests not waiting to seek help.
“I encourage a lot of people who think they have a balance problem but don’t think it’s that bad, to come and see somebody,” she said. “A physical therapist or whoever it is, to see if there’s something they can do before you have a fall or something worse.”
Carley recently joined the UPHS – Bell Rehabilitation team and has familiar ties to the area. She graduated from Westwood High School before attending Northern Michigan University and obtaining her athletic training degree. She completed physical therapy school with Central Michigan University rural placement program, which allowed her to take courses at Michigan Tech.
“Carley has been a great addition,” UPHS – Bell
Rehab Services Director, Rich Matthews said. “She is a hardworking individual
who puts the patients’ interests first and keeps them in mind when providing
the best care.”
Carley’s inspiration to get into physical
therapy was started by her fascination with the human body and how it allows us
to move through life. And as a former athlete, she hopes to help keep others
active, whether that be in sports or their daily lives.
“I think everyone is an athlete in their own way,” she said. “Maybe you’re someone who plays hockey or football, but not everyone plays a sport. Maybe there’s an older woman who wants to keep up with their grandkids; that’s her sport, and I want people to be able to do what they want to do and do it comfortably.
“I want to take people’s goals and help them reach those.”
For more information about UPHS – Bell’s Rehabilitation program or to make an appointment, please call (906) 485-2261 or visit www.bellhospital.org/rehab.