TAKE A STAND
TO PREVENT FALLS
The National Council on Aging is raising awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults.
Did you know that 1 in 3 older Americans falls every year? Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people aged 65+. Falls can result in hip fractures, broken bones, and head injuries. And even falls without a major injury can cause an older adult to become fearful or depressed, making it difficult for them to stay active.
If you have an aging parent, grandparent, or neighbor in your life, helping them reduce their risk of falling is a great way to help them stay healthy and independent as long as possible. The good news about falls is that most of them can be prevented. The key is to know where to look.
When it comes to evaluating whether a loved one could be at risk of falling, you may not be able to count on them to assess their own abilities. Many older adults overestimate their balance and mobility – and while one in three older adults will fall this year, less than half talk to their healthcare provider about it.
However, falls shouldn’t be swept under the rug – they are the number one cause of injury, hospital visits due to trauma, and death from an injury among people age 65 and older.
Many caregivers hope they can recognize impending signs of a fall by keeping an eye out for a decline in their loved one’s coordination or a change in gait, but some of the warning signs may not be easy to recognize.
The good news is that if you identify and reduce risk factors, falls can be preventable.
Here are three more tips to help you prevent a fall:
An Aging Life Care Professional™ can conduct a fall risk assessment and develop a plan to avert risks. Here are some of the ways an Aging Life Care™ Manager can help you and your family:
- Make homes safer by reducing tripping hazards such as throw rugs, cords and wires; installing grab bars and hand rails to toilets, tubs and showers; and improving the lighting.
- Create an exercise regimen to increase strength and improve balance.
- Ensure emergency alert devices are installed and in place.
About the Aging Life Care Association:
ALCA (formerly known as the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers) was formed in 1985 to advance dignified care for older adults and their families in the United States. Aging Life Care Professionals™ have extensive training and experience working with older adults, people with disabilities, and families who need assistance with caregiving issues. They assist families in the search for a suitable nursing home placement or extended care if the need occurs. The practice of Aging Life Care™ and the role of care providers have captured a national spotlight,
as generations of Baby Boomers age in the United States and abroad. For more information or to access a nationwide directory of Aging Life Care Professionals, please visit aginglifecare.org.