National Falls Prevention Awareness Week (September 21-25, 2020) is designed to reduce falls among older adults by providing practical lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based programs and community partnerships.
Injuries from falls can make it difficult for older adults to do everyday activities or remain independent.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in four Americans aged 65 and older falls every year. But less than half of them tell their doctor. The CDC also reports:
One out of five falls causes a serious injury, such as broken bones or a head injury.
3 million people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries each year.
More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways.
While falling may be common, it’s not a normal part of aging. Here’s some ways to help prevent falls in older adults.
6 steps for preventing falls
Most falls are preventable, which means you can take active steps to reduce your own risk and protect your older loved ones.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) provides the following tips:
Find a balance or exercise program. These programs can help you build stability, strength and flexibility.
Talk to your doctor if you’ve fallen or are afraid of falling. Your doctor can provide a risk assessment and give you resources tailored to your needs.
Review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist. They can identify which medications could increase your risk of falling.
Get your vision and hearing checked each year. Your eyes and ears are the key to navigating the world around you.
Keep your home safe. Make sure your home is well-lit and remove any items you could trip over. Prevent falls in the bathroom by using bathmats in the shower and installing grab bars as needed.
Talk with your family. Allow your support system to help when needed to work together to reduce your risk of falling.
Additionally, you can explore these fall prevention resources for more information and tips.
Be ready to help in an emergency. Find a first aid class near you.