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Silver Cross Offers Free Balance Screenings in October

Joliet, IL (October 12, 2010)— Dangers around the home caused as many as 10 million emergency department trips in the U.S. each year, according to the Home Safety Council. And falls are the most common fatal injury in the home -- especially among the elderly. The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital is offering free balance screenings during October.

“Since falling is the leading cause of injury deaths among people over the age of 65, and the leading cause of doctor visits, hospital admissions, and emergency room visits, it is important to determine if you are at risk,” says Matthew Boebel, Administrative Director for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital.

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross recommends that individuals who have been experiencing dizziness or vertigo, have had a history of falls, near falls, or simply a fear of falling are excellent candidates for a balance screening. Appointments are available from 1 to 3 p.m. on Oct. 19 at Silver Cross Hospital, Oct. 20 at Silver Cross Professional Building, New Lenox, and Oct. 21 at Silver Cross Professional Building, West Joliet. To register for the free screenings, or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

There are numerous safety measures you can take to prevent slips and falls in your home:

• Stairways should have handrails on both sides.
• Attach safety treads to steps.
• Remove tripping hazards such as throw rugs, furniture, and clutter from walkways.
• Use self-adhesive non-skid mats or safety treads in bathtubs, showers, and pools.
• Use non-skid rugs on bathroom floors.
• Use non-skid pads under rugs on bare floors.
• Install grab bars on both sides of toilets and bathtubs, especially on those used by seniors.

Falls are especially dangerous for the elderly. The CDC says more than one-third of adults 65 and older fall each year. And the consequences are great: Seniors suffer 360,000-480,000 fall-related fractures each year.
Researchers say the risks of seniors falling are greater if they have lower body weakness, problems with walking and balance, or are taking four or more medications. To reduce their risk, elderly people should get regular exercise to increase their lower body strength and improve balance. And their doctor should review and revise, if necessary, their medications to reduce side effects and interactions.

To schedule an appointment for a balance screening, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-HEAL (4325).

About the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital
In January 2010, Silver Cross Hospital and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), announced a strategic partnership that expands post-acute physical medicine and rehabilitation services in Will County and the southwest Chicagoland communities. The new partnership provides world-class rehabilitation care for a range of conditions for patients close to home.  Silver Cross is the only healthcare facility in the area with this breadth of services in partnership with RIC.  Together, Silver Cross and RIC provides rehabilitation services in inpatient and outpatient care settings at three locations.  Additionally, the RIC team provides physical therapy services for patients on the hospital’s medical and surgical floors.  This award-winning care will continue when Silver Cross opens its replacement hospital in February 2012.  For more information about RIC at Silver Cross, call (815) 740-7110 or visit www.silvercross.org.

About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895.  Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for the last six consecutive years and as one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 2,500 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 304-bed acute care hospital and 10 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Construction has begun to build a state-of-the-art replacement hospital opening in 2012 in New Lenox.  To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

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