The first day of fall also marks the annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, which is sponsored by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Every 11 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury. Falls are the major cause of hip fractures, and are responsible for more than half of fatal head injuries.
As summer transitions into autumn, there will be many more trip hazards and slick surfaces than usual. However, most people fail to consider these potential hazards because they are not as obviously dangerous as the snow that will begin falling in a few months. Many falls are preventable. Along with these quick reminders from the NCOA, your home caregiver can provide helpful infor- mation on how to stay safe and help prevent fall-related injuries in your home.
Stay safe with these tips!
1. Find a good balance and exercise program: Look to build balance, strength, and flexibility.
Contact your local Area Agency on Aging for referrals. Find a program you like and take a friend.
2. Talk to your health care provider: Ask for an assessment of your risk of falling. Share your history of recent falls.
3. Regularly review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist: Make sure side effects aren’t increasing
your risk of falling. Take medications only as prescribed.
4. Get your vision and hearing checked annually and update your eyeglasses:
Your eyes and ears are key to keeping you on your feet.
5. Keep your home safe: Remove tripping hazards, increase lighting, make stairs safe, and install grab bars in key areas.
6. Talk to your family members: Enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe. Falls are not just a seniors’ issue.