Balance & Falls

The Program  | Treatment Approach  |  Eligibility  | Locations

Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network utilizes the Safe Steps Program to assist patients in their fall prevention.


The Program

The ability to maintain our balance under a variety of conditions and circumstances is critical to our ability to remain upright – or in other words: TO AVOID FALLING Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network uses the Safe Steps Balance and Fall Prevention Program to reduce your risk for falling. Safe Steps is a comprehensive balance program that uses a systematic approach to complete a thorough clinical assessment of patients with balance dysfunction. Safe Steps enables patients to safely resume many activities of daily living by challenging the vestibular, somatosensory and visual systems. 

Factors that can affect your balance include:

Collaboration between disciplines allows us to approach the patient with a broader perspective and gives us a well-rounded picture of the patient, leading to more appropriate and comprehensive interventions and, ultimately, better outcomes.

The Safe Steps comprehensive evaluation assesses:

  • Objective balance tests with normative data – Berg Balance, Tinetti, Timed Up and Go, modified Clinical Test for Sensory Integration and Balance, Functional Reach, Functional Gait Assessment and gait speed.
  • Posture.
  • Functional limitations.
  • Pain, strength and range of motion.
  • Neurologic assessment of sensation, proprioception/kinesthesia and vestibular screens.
  • Safety of home environment.

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Treatment Approach

  • Gait and transfer training.
  • Exercise progression to restore function, strength and range of motion.
  • Balance-specific training to improve balance and vestibular function
  • Fall recovery training.
  • Individualized and progressive home exercise program.
  • Education on home environment to decrease fall risk.

The therapist will inform the physician of the patient’s evaluation, including a normative data comparison, and will collaborate for a customized plan of care. 

Specialized Equipment
Some HHRN locations utilize Korebalance™, and Biodex™ balance trainers to assist patients in their fall prevention programs.

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  • A previous fall.
  • Impaired gait and/or difficulty in transferring or getting up.
  • Use of 4 or more medications per day.
  • Postural hypotension.
  • Foot or footwear problems such as pain, deformities.
  • Impaired lower extremity proprioception.
  • Inability to stand on one leg for five seconds.
  • Increased fear of falling.

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    The William W. Backus Hospital Rehabilitation Network is a dedicated, dynamic, interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals consisting of Physical, Occupational, Speech therapists and physiatrists who provide customized, coordinated holistic care to patients, their families, and the community to maximize their functional independence and enhance their quality of life.

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Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network