As we enter the autumn season, it’s important to recognize that September is Fall Prevention Awareness Month. This national observance is designed to raise awareness about the risk of falls, which is an important health issue for people of all ages.
Why is fall prevention important?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of injury-related death and hospitalization among adults aged 65 and older. However, falls can happen to anyone, at any age, and they can lead to serious injuries, disabilities, and even death.
There are several risk factors for falls, including age, poor balance, medication side effects, chronic conditions like arthritis or diabetes, and environmental hazards like uneven surfaces, poor lighting, and clutter. However, falls are not an inevitable part of aging, and there are steps you can take to reduce your risk.
Strategies for fall prevention
- Exercise regularly to improve strength, balance, and flexibility.
- Review your medications with your healthcare provider to identify any side effects that may increase your risk of falls.
- Manage chronic health conditions to improve overall health and mobility.
- Remove tripping hazards from your home, like throw rugs or cluttered pathways.
- Install grab bars in the bathroom and handrails on the stairs.
- Improve lighting throughout your home, especially in high-traffic areas.
- Wear supportive, comfortable footwear that fits well and has a non-slip sole.
- Use assistive devices like canes, walkers, or stair lifts if needed.
- Stay hydrated to prevent dizziness or lightheadedness.
- Get regular eye exams to ensure your vision is sharp.
Fall Prevention Awareness Month highlights the importance of preventing falls, the risk factors, and how to stay safe. By taking steps to prevent falls, you can stay safe and independent in your own home, following the above strategies to help you or your loved ones reduce the risk of falling and lead a healthier life. Let us all join in and spread awareness about fall prevention to help older adults live life to the fullest. Make fall prevention a priority this September and all year long.