By Nicholas Goodman, MiCAFE Network Specialist
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) reports that an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury every 11 seconds. While accidents happen, there are safety measures you can take to reduce fall-related injuries for yourself or loved ones.
There are several facets of fall-prevention which include physical health, environmental attributes, and social involvement. Taking care of your physical health includes exercising to build strength and flexibility, sharing information with your healthcare provider for medication assessment, and vision and hearing ability.
Fall-related injuries can be reduced by dedicating time to make your home safe and accessible. Changes you can make include increasing lighting, having clear walkways, removing rugs that slide, and installing handrails in bathrooms or in stairwells.
Having a social support system can also reduce the chance of a fall-related injury. Family and friends can assist with making a home safe by shovelling snow or changing lightbulbs, for example. You should not feel ashamed to ask for help in order to improve your well-being.
There are many resources available for seniors and those who care for them to spread awareness of this often-overlooked issue. Here is a video you can share with friends and family to start a discussion about fall-prevention. NCOA partnered with the National Alliance for Caregiving and published a booklet for caregivers called Falls Prevention Conversation Guide for Caregivers. NCOA reminds us, “Falls are not just a seniors’ issue”.