September 20th through the 24th is Falls Prevention Awareness Week, a nationwide effort to raise awareness that falls are preventable.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls and fall-related injuries are a major threat to the independence and well-being of older adults. At least one-third of all falls involve environmental hazards in the home. Two-thirds of those who experience a fall will fall again within six months.
Who is at risk of falling?
A variety of factors can increase your chance of falling. They include:
- Chronic health conditions
- Lack of physical activity
- Muscle weakness, unsteady gait, or balance problems
- Impaired vision or hearing
- Environmental hazards
How can I prevent falls?
Falls are not a normal part of aging. You can avoid the risk of a fall by taking some of the steps below.
- Keep pathways clear and get rid of things you could trip over
- Remove throw rugs and clutter
- Have adequate lighting in your home
- Use a nightlight in the bedroom/bathroom/hallways
- Have regular eye exams and wear prescribed eye wear
- Keep eye glasses clean
- Wear appropriate footwear with nonskid surface
- Put railings on both sides of stairways
- Always use your assistive devices when ambulating
- Add color strips to stairs
- Add grab bars inside and outside your shower and next to the toilet
- Add non-skid mats or appliques to bathtub/shower
- Ask your physician or pharmacist to review your medications
- Keep commonly used items within reach
- Adjust the height of the bed to make it easy to get in and out
- Keep oxygen tubing, electrical, and telephone cords out of the way
- Engage in regular exercise to help maintain muscle and bone strength and improve balance
Join Coastline’s Course, ‘Matter of Balance’
Coastline will be offering a FREE online workshop designed to reduce fear of falling and increase strength and flexibility through specific exercises.
When: Held on Thursdays, Sept. 30 through Nov. 18, from 3 to 5pm.
Register today! Call Rachel Fouts at 774-510-5224.