September 22, 2018, the first day of fall, marks the 10th annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. Falls are the main cause of injury related emergency department visits for older adults. Falls are the major cause of hip fractures as well as being responsible for more than half of fatal head injuries.
Most falls can be prevented. Following the 6 steps listed below, you have the power to help reduce the risk of your loved ones experiencing a serious fall.
1. Find a balance or exercise program to help build stability, strength and flexibility. Getting others around you involved in these same programs can be fun!
2. Talk to your doctor if you have experienced a fall or are afraid of falls. Don’t be afraid to admit to your doctor if you have had a fall. You can ask them to assess your risk of falling.
3. Review your medications with a pharmacist or doctor. They will be able to advise what prescriptions and over-the-counter medications can increase the risk of falling.
4. Get your vision and hearing checked every year. Your eyes and ears are key in keeping you on your feet.
5. Keep your home safe by removing any items that could be a tripping hazard. It is also wise to keep your home well lit, use bath mats in the shower, and install grab bars in the bathroom.
6. Talk with your family and ask for their support in helping take these simple steps to stay safe.
Visit ncoa.org/FallsPrevention for more information and resources.