September 22 is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. Did you know that every 11 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury? Many falls are preventable. Along with our friends at the National Council on Aging, we want to share how to take control of your health with six steps to prevent a fall:
1.) Find a good balance and exercise program: Look to build balance, strength and flexibility. Our agency offers the Matter of Balance falls management program to address these very topics. Call us at 1-800-582-7277 to learn about our schedule and when we may be coming to your community.
2.) Talk to your health care provider: Ask for an assessment of your risk of falling. Share your history of recent falls.
3.) Regularly review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist: Make sure side effects aren’t increasing your risk of falling. Take medications only as prescribed.
4.) Get your vision and hearing checked annually and update your eyeglasses: Your eyes and ears are key to keeping you on your feet.
5.) Keep your home safe: Remove tripping hazards, increase lighting, make stairs safe, and install grab bars in key areas.
6.) Talk to your family members: Enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe. Falls are not just a seniors issue.
The Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) is also a proud partner of STEADY U Ohio, the state’s older adult falls prevention initiative.
Falling is not a normal part of aging, and most falls can be prevented. By knowing and managing your risk factors you can live a full and active life free of the fear of falling. You can reduce your risk of falling by paying more attention to the “Three H’s” – your home, your health and your habits. For more information, log on to http://aging.ohio.gov/steadyu/.
For more information about the Matter of Balance falls prevention program or about longterm care resources in your community, call our agency at 1-800-582-7277, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pamela K. Matura is the executive director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7, which includes Highland County.