You might think you're never going to fall, but the truth is one in four older adults fall every year in the U.S.
- National Council on Aging (NCOA)
Why Focus on Fall Prevention?
Falls continue to be a national public health concern. Falls prevention awareness aids in reducing the risk of falls and help older adults live without the fear of falling.
While falling is more of a symptom than an illness there are medical applications to help decrease the occurence of falls.
From Physical Therapy and assistive devices to talking to your pharmicist and identifying how your medications, prescription and over-the-counter, can impact your risk of falling.
Fall prevention is a team effort, this includes family, friends, neighbors and your healthcare professionals.
Did You Know...
About 36 million falls are reported among older adults each year—resulting in more than 32,000 deaths.
Each year, about 3 million older adults are treated in emergency departments for a fall injury.
One out of every five falls causes an injury, such as broken bones or a head injury.
Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
Women fall more often than men and account for three-quarters of all hip fractures.
What are some ways to prevent falls?
Staying physically active
Have your eyes and ears tested
Find out about medication side effects
Get enough sleep
Use a cane or walker if you need more stability
Learn more about these and other ways to prevent falls on the National Institute on Aging's Prevent Falls and Fractures page.
What do I do if I fall?
Stay as calm as possible. Take several deep breaths if necessary to relax.
Remain on the floor for a few moments.
If you can get up, take it slow.
If you cannot get up, ask for help or call 911.
If alone and unable to call 911, get as comfortable as possible to remain calm and prevent further injury and wait for help to arrive.
How do I fall proof my home?
In stairways, hallways, and pathways: Have handrails on both sides of the stairs, and make sure they are tightly fastened. Hold the handrails when you use the stairs, going up or down. If you must carry something while you're on the stairs, hold it in one hand and use the handrail with the other. Don't let what you're carrying block your view of the steps.
In bathrooms and powder rooms: Place non-skid mats, strips, or carpet on all surfaces that may get wet.
In your bedroom: Put night lights and light switches close to your bed
In other living areas: Keep electric cords and telephone wires near walls and away from walking paths.
These are just a few ways to fall proof your home. See the full list on the National Institute of Aging's Fall-Proofing Your Home page.
National Council on Aging: 6 Steps to Prevent a Fall
Falls Free CheckUp (National Council on Aging)