There are few luminaries in the stroke recovery game that I really respect. Few bring anything new and most just add to an expanding din of quasi-misinformation. Two that I do respect are Carr and Shepard. These two Aussie therapists are vanguards of the paradigm shift that stroke recovery theory is now in. They have a book called Stroke Rehabilitation (go figure) that has some gems in it. One of those gems is about what causes falls after stroke. I hate falls. Heck, I’ve broken bones falling. For stroke survivors, falls can be the beginning of the end. There is a statistic that has always resonated with me: If someone is 65+ and they have a fall that lands them in hospital for at least one night they have a 50% chance of dying in the next year! And up to that 70 % of patients have a fall in the six months after their stroke.
So what do Carr and Shepard say about falling? Falls very often happen in four situations:
• Starting walking
• Stopping walking
• Uneven surfaces