Did you know that September 22 is Fall Prevention Awareness Day? Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths, hospital trauma admissions and unintentional injuries among adults 65 and older. The quality of life and the independence of a senior can dramatically change from the results of a fall.
Many of us know someone in the community or even our family who has fallen and suffered a traumatic injury due to a fall. It is important to have preventative measures in place to help decrease the risk of falling, especially for seniors. We encourage you today to take some time to not fall behind on fall prevention.
Most falls are preventable. Start with these suggestions for fall prevention, including:
- Identify the risks – It is important to look around your living space and identify anything that may cause a fall. Flooring that changes levels, such as uneven flooring or a single step, can cause risk of falling. Remove tripping hazards like area rugs. Take the time to have your living space situation reviewed so that you know where the risks are and what may possibly need addressed.
- Focus on the bathroom – One of the more important rooms in a home when it comes to fall prevention is that of the bathroom. With water and/or humidity on the flooring, the bathroom floor can be quite slippery. Getting in and out of the shower or bathtub can pose quite a challenge. Using the restroom without a handrail can be extremely difficult.
- Build physical strength – You should work to build your strength, balance and flexibility. A physical activity routine can help your flexibility and strength. Speak with your medical professional to find out about local programs that you and a friend can and to help find a good balance and exercise routine.
- Talk to your health care provider – You can ask your health care provider for an assessment in your risk for falling and your history of recent falls. Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor if you have had a fall or if you are afraid of falling. It’s also wise to talk with them about your medications that you take and if there are any that increase your risk of falling.
- Have hearing and vision checked – Your ears and your eyes are important when it comes to keeping you on your feet. Have your hearing and your vision routinely checked and your glasses updated if you wear them.
- Talk with your family and support system – It’s important with fall prevention to ask your family to support you and help in preventing falls.
Falls are not a normal part of the aging process. Every 11 seconds an older adult will visit the emergency room for an injury that is the result of a fall. You can take the steps to reduce your risk of falling today.