September 23rd, the first day of fall, is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. According to the National Council on Aging, every 13 seconds an older adult is seen in an emergency room after a fall. Many falls are preventable. Keep in mind the following tips:
Six Steps to Prevent a Fall
- Build balance, strength & flexibility – Exercises that improve balance and make your legs stronger lower your chances of falling. It also helps you feel better. Try something like yoga or Tai Chi for this type of strengthening. You could also ask your doctor or health care provider about the best type of exercise program for you.
- Assess your risk of falling – Talk with your healthcare provider and share your history of any recent falls with them. Take this risk assessment prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) STEADI program – https://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/STEADI-Brochure-StayIndependent-508.pdf
- Review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist – Take medications only as prescribed and make sure side effects aren’t increasing your risk of falling.
- Get your vision & hearing checked annually – Your eyes and ears are key to keeping you on your feet.
- Keep your home safe – Remove tripping hazards and clutter, increase lighting, make stairs safe and install grab bars in key places. Wear shoes both inside and outside the house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers. Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach without a step stool.
- Talk to you family members – Ask for their support in taking these simple steps to stay safe. If a fall happens, it becomes a family issue, so be sure to talk with family members and friends about what you’re doing to prevent falling. If you do fall, be sure to let your family and physician know.
Please refer to this fall prevention checklist from the CDC – http://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/check_for_safety_brochure-a.pdf.
While falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for those 65 years of age and older, they are not an inevitable part of aging. At Kadan Homecare, our skilled caregivers are committed to creating a safe and nurturing environment for seniors and other individuals in need of professional assistance.