Fall Prevention Awareness Week September 21-25
Falls are common, especially among older and disabled adults. According to the National Council on Aging, they are the leading cause of both fatal injury and non fatal trauma related hospital admissions for older adults. In people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the risk may be even greater due to a number of factors. Some of the physical factors that can make a person more vulnerable to falls are poor vision, poor balance and weak muscles, difficulty judging when a situation or activity is dangerous and taking medications that cause sleepiness, dizziness or affect judgement or balance. Some environmental factors that increase fall risk are slippery floors, loose carpets or unstable rugs, poor lighting, poorly fitted footwear, lack of surfaces to grab, seat heights that are too high or too low and assistive devices that have worn tips or structural defects.
The best way to prevent falls is to take a good look at what puts you or your loved one at risk and then doing something about it. We can make simple changes in our homes such as increase the lighting or the layout of our furniture. We can get physical therapy or exercise to make us stronger and steadier on our feet. And we can review our medications with our doctor. In honor of Fall Prevention Awareness take a look at your situation this week and put a plan in place to lower the risk.
For a CDC Fall Prevention Checklist follow this link https://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/STEADI-Brochure-CheckForSafety-508.pdf