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Safety Week: Fall Prevention

Slip and falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries and hospital admissions for trauma in older adults. Although they are preventable, 1 in 4 older adults will experience a slip and fall each year. The cost of fall injuries in 2014 was $41 billion and is expected to rise to $67.7 billion by 2020. Falls are costly not only financially, but also to one's quality of life. Often after an older adult experiences one fall, they will fear falling again which then limits their normal activities and engagements. This can lead to further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness.

The National Council of Aging (NCOA) is raising awareness about falls and fall prevention programs. The NCOA leads in the Falls Free Initiative which addresses the growing public health issue of falls, fall-related injuries and deaths. The plan includes goals, strategies, and action steps to reduce the risks of falls. Each year, on the first day of fall, the Falls Free Initiative promotes National Falls Prevention Awareness Day.

Stay safe with these tips from the National Council of Aging

  • Find a good balance and exercise program to help reduce your risks of falling.
  • Talk to your health care provider about your risks of falling and your history of falls.
  • Regularly review your medications with your doctor to confirm that side effects will not increase your risk of falling.
  • Get your vision and hearing checked annually.
  • Keep your home safe by removing any tripping hazards, increasing the light, making any stairs safe, and installing grab bars.
  • Talk to your family members to give yourself any support you may need.

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