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King Farm Blog

IKF Blog
Posted: Monday, November 2, 2015

6 Simple Steps to Prevent Falls

Did you know that falls are the No. 1 cause of injuries, hospital visits and deaths among people 65 and older? They account for almost 9 million emergency room visits each year, and older adults are at high risk. According to the National Council on Aging, 1 in 3 Americans 65 and older suffers a fall every year. Even if not fatal, a fall can result in disability or loss of independence. That’s unfortunate because falling is not an unavoidable part of aging. With a little attention to prevention, adjusting your lifestyle and awareness of fall hazards, most falls don’t have to happen.

The National Council on Aging recommends taking six simple steps to keep from becoming a fall victim. If you do, you could have a safer, healthier, more active and independent future.

Here are the six steps:

  1. Find a good balance and exercise program. Exercises such as Tai Chi are known to build balance, strength and flexibility, all of which will help keep you on your feet. If your community doesn’t already offer a fall-specific program, ask your activities director about offering one.
  2. Talk to your health care provider. Ask for an assessment of your risk of falling, and tell your provider about any recent falls.
  3. Regularly review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist. Make sure the medications you take aren’t increasing your risk of falling. Take medications only as prescribed.
  4. Have your vision and hearing checked annually, and make sure your eyeglass prescription is up to date. Your eyes and ears are keys to preventing falls by alerting you to hazards.
  5. Keep your home safe. Take a tour of your home and look for tripping hazards, such as electrical cords that cross traffic pathways and throw rugs that need anchoring. Take another look at night—if there are areas of your home that are dark, install more lighting—for example, motion-sensor lighting in your kitchen and on pathways to the bathroom.
  6. Talk to your family members. Enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe. Falls are not just an issue for seniors.

Want to know more? The National Council on Aging has extensive resources to help you. Find them here.



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