Fall Prevention Awareness
It’s Fall Prevention Awareness Week and Mountain-Pacific would like to remind seniors and their caregivers about the importance of preventing falls.
Every 15 seconds in the United States someone 65 or older is treated in an emergency room for a fall-related injury; every 29 minutes, someone 65 or older dies from fall-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most falls are preventable and individuals, caregivers, friends and families can take preventive measures to reduce the chances of a fall.
Find a good exercise and balance program
Building balance, strength and flexibility will help reduce falls and improve your health. Many local Area Agencies on Aging can help find programs and resources (or see the links below).
Discuss falls with your health care provider
Ask your provider about conducting an assessment of your fall risk. Make sure to share your history of recent falls if you have had any.
Work with your pharmacist or doctor on your medications
Medication side effects can increase your chances of falling. Make sure to take medications as prescribed and if you have side effects that impair your balance consult a professional immediately.
Annually check your vision, hearing and update glasses
Vision and hearing may impact your balance. Annual vision and hearing tests can help keep you on your feet.
Remove home hazards and make sure lighting is adequate
Remove tripping hazards from paths – loose rugs, cords, etc. Make sure your living area is well light, install railings on stairs and place grab bars in key areas. If you have a pet, be extra careful and look down when moving and beware of toys and food bowls.
Alaska – http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Chronic/Pages/InjuryPrevention/Falls/default.aspx
Hawaii – http://health.hawaii.gov/injuryprevention/home/preventing-falls/information/
Montana – http://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/EMSTS/prevention/falls
Wyoming – https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/prevention/wipp/injuryoafalls/
A fall can rob you of your independence and can lead to an injury or even death. Improve your balance and health by exercising, make sure you have your vision, hearing and eyeglasses checked frequently, work with your doctor or pharmacist to reduce medication side effects and take precautions to make sure your home is free of hazards that could lead to a fall.