September 20-24 was Fall Prevention Week. But in reality, Fall Prevention is actually EVERY DAY!
Why is Fall Prevention so important? Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. 1 in 4 older adults fall each year. An older adult is treated in the ER every 11 seconds for a fall. An older adult dies from a fall every 19 minutes. More than 2.8 million older adults are treated in ERs each year because of a fall resulting in over 800,000 hospitalizations! The average hospital costs for a fall injury is over $30,000.
These are daunting statistics. And many falls are preventable!
Falling is NOT normal as we age. There are things you can do to minimize the risk of falling.
Stay active. Doing less results in doing less which results in muscle weakness and loss of strength and increased falls.
Have your vision checked regularly. In our world of bifocals and trifocals, vision can be problematic. Not seeing as good is something that happens slowly then suddenly. You don’t realize it’s changing until you have an issue.
Regularly review your medications with your doctors. Do you have prescriptions at multiple pharmacies? This could result in a medication prescribed by one doctor interfering with another medication. Keep your medication list updated and give a copy to the doctor’s office every time you go.
Check out your environment. Do you have a step down living area? A couple steps up to the kitchen (like my Dad’s house)? Are there simple modifications such as hand rails that could improve balance and safety?
Whether you are the older adult, caregiver or children of older adults take a look around. As the saying goes: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
If an older adult’s home no longer serves them or they are no longer able to safely stay there, it may be time to make a move. Change can be challenging and sometimes feared. Our resource team can make the move as painless as possible.
You go love on your loved ones, let us handle the details.
Edwena Potter, Certified Senior Housing Professional, Keller Williams Realty 469-616-0561