Senior Planet will be on September 23. Give a special lecture on preventing falls at 3 p.m. EST. For more information on joining through Zoom, please see the Senior Planet Events Listings here.
At first glance, the statistics for Falls Prevention Awareness Week (September 21-25) sound sobering and depressing. From the CDC: “Every second of every day, an older adult (65+) has a fall in the United States – making falls the leading cause of injury and death in this age group.” There’s more: “One in four older adults will fall in the United States every year …”
But here’s the bright spot: “Falls are Not a normal part of aging. “
So it is really in your control to minimize the odds of you being 1
Being aware of this – and your personal risk of falling – is a great first step, says Kathleen Cameron, MPH, senior director of the Center for Healthy Aging at the National Council on Aging (NCOA). This organization operates the National Falls Prevention Resource Center, which is funded by the Administration on Aging, part of the US Department of Health. And a member of your team becomes one upcoming Senior Planet Workshop For Fall Prevention – Why It Is Important To Know How To Reduce Your Risk.
“We offer a wide variety of fitness classes that promote flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance,” said Fiona Adams, Associate Director of Senior Planet. “This workshop is a nice addition to these offers. Falling is not inevitable as you age, but some of our members are concerned. “
By knowing your risk, knowing how to reduce that risk, and assessing your surroundings, you can reduce your likelihood of falling.
What is your risk
Who can resist a quiz? We found two to rate them Your risk of falling. Here is the Falls Free CheckUp from the NCOA, in which you answer 12 questions and assess your risk based on your score. The CDC also has a quiz that also gives an assessment of your risk. Some of the questions may be surprising – they will ask you about medications, whether you are rushing to go to the bathroom, and your general mood, among other things.
Fall prevention plan
While many falls don’t require much more than a bandage or bruise breastfeeding, falls can also cause serious brain and hip injuries in older adults. Here Cameron and the experts at the CDC suggest how the risk can be reduced:
- Find one Exercise program with a balance component, like tai chi. Senior Planet offers many online courses to choose from.
- Ask your pharmacist or doctor Check your medication. “So many drugs can cause side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and even blurred vision,” says Cameron. Your doctor may be able to adjust the dose or change the medicine while he is still treating the condition well.
- Look around your house to remove it Stumbling blocks like throwing carpets and clutter. Place a strip of colored tape along the edge of the stairs so that you can see the stairs in dim light.
- Get yours Seeing and hearing checked yearly. Blurred vision can increase the risk of falls, and hearing problems can affect your balance.
- Talk to your doctor when you have fallen, when you feel insecure, or when you are afraid of falling. Fear of falling could limit your level of activity, says Cameron, and that’s not good for overall health. Bring the subject up, she suggests; Don’t wait for your doctor to do this.
Photo: Gary Binder