September 22nd is the first day of fall, and marks the 11th annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Week during September 21-25th. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older adults. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), one-fourth of older adults aged 65+ fall every year. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and every 19 seconds, an older adult dies from a fall.
The NCOA’s theme is Falls Prevention – You have the Power! This is a campaign designed to spread awareness of fall prevention and to educate families on who is at risk of falling and how to manage prevention.
Falling is NOT a normal part of aging. There are steps that we can take to help reduce our chances of taking a life-threatening fall. Falls can result in hip fractures, broken bones, and head injuries. The good news is that many falls can be prevented. Here are a few tips to help reduce fall risks:
• Check into physical therapy for gait rehabilitation
• Regularly review medications – make sure side effects are not causing falls or balance problems
• Get regular vision checkups
• Keep the home safe from tripping hazards, make stairs safe, and install grab bars in key areas
• Talk with family members for support in staying safe For more information about fall prevention, please visit the National Council on Aging’s website.