Even the smallest of falls can cause the biggest of the injuries. Let us prevent them all and spread the word on FALL PREVENTION AWARENESS WEEK (Sept 20-24)
Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Falls threaten seniors’ safety, independence, and generate enormous economic and personal costs.
According to CDC, each year, millions of older people—those 65 and older—fall. In fact, more than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.
Many falls do not cause injuries. One out of five falls does cause a serious injury such as wrist, arm, ankle, and hip fractures or a head injury. These injuries can make it hard for a person to get around, do everyday activities, or live on their own. When a person is less active, they become weaker, and this increases their chances of falling.
However, falling is not an inevitable result of aging. Through practical lifestyle adjustments, you can lower your chances of falling.
Here are some tips to prevent falling
- Get a physical exam each year: Some health conditions like lower body weakness, Vitamin D deficiency, difficulty in balancing may increase your risk of falling.
- Review all your medicines with your Doctor or Pharmacist: As you get older, the way medicines work in your body can change. Some combinations of medicines can make you sleepy or dizzy and can cause you to fall. To learn more, go to: https://go.usa.gov/xPADs
- Follow a regular activity program to increase your strength and balance. Strength and balance activities, done at least 3 times a week, can reduce your risk of falling. Other activities, like walking, are good for you, but don’t help prevent falls. Visit the National Institute on Aging’s website for suggestions: www.go4life.nia.nih.gov/exercises
- Get a medical eye exam each year: Poor vision can increase your chances of falling. Once a year, check with your eye doctor, and update your eyeglasses, if needed.
- Make your home safer:
- Remove things like books, clothes and shoes form stairs and places where you walk.
- Coil or tape cords and wires next to the wall and out of the way.
Keep items you often use in cabinets you can reach easily. For items not within easy reach, always use a step stool and never use a chair.
- Use non-slip rubber mats or self-stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower. Consider installing grab bars for support getting in or out of the tub or shower, and up from the toilet.
- Improve the lighting in your home. As you get older, you need brighter lights to see well.
- Wear well-fitted shoes with good support to the heel, inside and outside the house.
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