Stop Falling!

May 15, 2021

OVERVIEW: "Carr and Shephard are two Aussie physical therapists. They were the first to dovetail modern motor learning with rehab which was a sea change from the neurofacilitation crowd. Janet Carr, one of them, passed away in 2014. But they wrote this great book, I think it’s called, “Stroke Rehabilitation.” I think that’s what it’s called. I wrote a review on Amazon, you can read it, it’s just glowing because I just, I adore this book...But they make it very, very clear...There’s four situations in which you’re most likely to fall. And this is especially for people with brain injury, but also for anybody. Starting to walk, so right when you start the acceleration of walking; when you stop know...can you come to a full stop and not lose your balance? Turning – a whole bunch of problems with turning because you know, you have to shift your gaze constantly, you have to shift your feet constantly...and then uneven surfaces. So when you’re out walking and you’re thinking “Wow, I don’t want to be afraid of walking, I want to get out and I want to see things and I want to see people and I want to do my life, think about those four situations - When you start walking, when you stop walking, when you’re turning and then any sort of uneven surfaces – be really hyper-focused on those four situations."

EPISODE SUMMARY: This episode of NOGGINS & NEURONS: Stroke and TBI Recovery Simplified is all about not falling...Pete and Deb talk about helping people not to fall. We started and ended with the rabbit hole topic of Deb’s anthropology degree and bipedalism – super fun part of the conversation! Climbing out of the hole, Pete and Deb then talked about:

  • The relationship of medications to fall and the Paper Bag Test
  • Risk factors for falls in stroke survivors
  • Downward health spiral that can occur if survivors fall
  • What to do if you see someone fall
  • Home safety tips for fall prevention

This meaningful conversation gets into the literature, preventing falls, the negative impact of fear of falling, assessments and home safety. We share tips and tricks from the PT and OT perspectives. We hope survivors, caregivers and clinicians all find value in this conversation.

As always, we want to hear your top takeaways!


  1. Fall Risk Assessment Tool - Johns Hopkins Medicine  
  2. Xu, T., Clemson, L., O’Loughlin, K., Lannin, N., Dean, C., & Koh, G. (2018). Risk factors for falls in community stroke survivors: A systematic review and meta analysis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 99:563-573.
  3. Cho, K., Yu, J., & Rhee, H. (2015). Risk factors related to falling in stroke patients: a cross-sectional study. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 27: 1751-1753.

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