Falls put you at risk of serious injury. Fall prevention deserves your attention.
About one third of the elder population over the age of 65 falls each year, and the risk of falls increases proportionately with age. At 80 years, over half of seniors fall annually. With the rapidly growing 65+ segment of our population, our local public health system identified the need to address fall prevention education opportunities in the communities we serve. The Elder Fall Prevention Act has been passed by Congress for the development of effective public education, expansion of services and research on best practices.
One bad fall can mean a lengthy hospital stay, painful rehabilitation, a loss of independent life, or worse. The good news is that there are things you can learn to lower the risk of falling, either for yourself or someone you care for.
The four basic concepts of fall prevention include:
- Improve Fitness/Exercise Regularly: Take a Matter of Balance Class, join a senior exercise or Tai Chi group, or join a walking program
- Medication Management: Review all your prescription and non-prescription medications to identify medications that may cause side effects that increase your risk of falling
- Vision Checks: Have your eyes checked every year and update your glasses to make sure poor vision does not contribute to a fall
- Home Safety: Reduce trip hazards, add grab bars inside and outside of shower and next to toilet, add railings to stairways, and improve lighting in your home