Monday, September 18, 2023
This week is the 16th annual Falls Prevention Awareness Week. This year is focused on “From Awareness to Action” emphasizing what to be aware of and what actions to take to stay safe and falls free.
- Every year, more than 1 in 4 adults aged 65 and older fall, resulting in 3 million admissions to the emergency department.
- Falls are the number one cause of injury and death from injury among older adults.
While falls are common, they are also costly, both to the individual and the health care system. Most importantly, they can often be prevented. People of all ages can practice these methods to help build the skills to stay balanced.
Go to a class!
Evidence-based community falls prevention programs can significantly reduce falls and falls risk factors as well as reduce the costs associated with falls. These programs address a wide range of falls risk factors, such as improving muscle strength and balance, removing home hazards that contribute to falls, and increasing confidence to engage in falls-reduction activities. Also, these programs reduce health care costs and have proven positive returns on investment. If a fall does occur, many top-rated medical alert devices offer a fall detection feature.
A popular evidence-based falls prevention program offered by AgeGuide is, A Matter of Balance. This program teaches older adults how to reduce fall risks and eases their fear of falling, improves falls self-management, increases self-confidence, and promotes physical activity. It also helps eliminate the isolation and depression fear of falling . To learn more about evidence-based falls classes and health promotion, please go to the AgeGuide website.
Practice these 5 Steps to Prevent a Fall:
- Talk to your health care provider – ask for an assessment of your risk of falling and share your history of recent falls.
- 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.
- Get your vision and hearing checked annually and update your eyeglasses – your eyes and ears are key to keeping you on your feet.
- Keep your home safe – remove tripping hazards, increase lighting, make stairs safe, and install grab bars in key areas.
- Talk to your family members – enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe. Falls are not just an ageing issue.
Here are some resources to help: