Falls Prevention Awareness Day - The Beacon

Falls Prevention Awareness Day

Falls Prevention Awareness Day

Did you know that according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall? Your BBB® would like to share news about Falls Prevention Awareness Day which is tomorrow, September 22, the first day of fall.

The purpose of this event is to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults. This year’s theme is Ready, Steady, Balance: Prevent Falls in 2016. Here are more statistics from the CDC and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) about the consequences of falls to our senior citizens:

The good news is that the number of falls among seniors can be reduced through lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based falls prevention programs, and clinical community partnerships. NCOA offers the following six steps to help a loved one reduce their risk of a fall:

1. Enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe.

Talk to your older loved one to find out if they are concerned about falling. A good place to start is by sharing NCOA’s Debunking the Myths of Older Adult Falls.

2. Discuss their current health conditions.

Are they having trouble remembering to take their medications—or are they experiencing side effects? Is it getting more difficult for them to do things they used to do easily? Encourage them to speak openly with their health care provider about all of their concerns.

3. Ask about their last eye checkup.

If your older loved one wears glasses, make sure they have a current prescription and they’re using the glasses as advised by their eye doctor.

4. Notice if they’re holding onto walls, furniture, or someone else when walking or if they appear to have difficulty walking or arising from a chair.

These are all signs that it might be time to see a physical therapist.

5. Talk about their medications.

If your older loved one is having a hard time keeping track of medicines or is experiencing side effects, encourage them to discuss their concerns with their doctor and pharmacist. Suggest that they have their medications reviewed each time they get a new prescription.

6. Do a walk-through safety assessment of their home.

There are many simple and inexpensive ways to make a home safer. For professional assistance, consult an Occupational Therapist. Here are some examples:

For tips on how to make the home safer, the CDC offers a home assessment checklist. NCOA, the Administration on Aging, and the CDC also promote a variety of community-based programs that can help older adults learn how to reduce their risk of falling. Contact your Area Agency on Aging to find out what’s available in your area.

For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/evansville.

About the Author

Jackie

Jackie is the Operations and Education Foundation Assistant with the BBB. She assists consumers with business inquiries, and does presentations to senior groups and high school students. She is a regular contributor to the blog.

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