The AAA7 is joining the Ohio Department of Aging in recognizing September as Falls Prevention Awareness Month.
Did you know that many falls are preventable? If you are caring for an older adult, below are four tips to talk with them about falls from the National Council on Aging. Having the conversation today can help your loved one reduce their risk of a fall.
· Be open and kind: Ask questions, share a fact, or share your own experience.
· Avoid blame: Nobody is at fault for a fall. Provide solutions that do not make the person feel judged.
· Be assertive: Show that you care by how you deliver your message. Use “I” statements to let others know how you are thinking and feeling.
· Listen: Sometimes, no solution will make an older adult feel better about falling. Be there and listen to their concerns and give support when they are ready for the next step in reducing falls.
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 from the fear of falling.
Did you know the Area Agency on Aging District 7 offers a falls management class called “Matter of Balance”? The program is designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. Participants in the class learn to set realistic goals to increase activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and learn simple exercises to increase strength and balance. Attending classes can help improve quality of life and independence, and there is no charge to attend.
This month, you can also join the Ohio Department of Aging in raising awareness of older adult falls through its “10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls” campaign. For more information, log on to https://www.aging.ohio.gov.
For more information about falls prevention resources in your area or to inquire about an upcoming Matter of Balance class in your area, call our wellness department at 1-800-582-7277 or e-mail [email protected]
Teresa Reed-Powell, LSW, is the director of community services for the Area Agency on Aging District 7, which includes Highland County.