Recover Health’s Confident Steps Fall Prevention Program: Designed to Keep You on Your Feet
When you were a kid, wasn’t falling fun? Remember what it was like to be silly and feel your body free-fall as you tumbled to the ground, only to quickly get up, squealing with delight, and do it all over again?
For older adults, however, falling is no laughing matter.
Unfortunately, falling is very common. In fact, one-third of Americans aged 65 and over experience an episode of falling each year, resulting in more than 2.4 million injuries annually.
Falling, and the fear of falling, keeps many older adults sidelined from the activities they would like to participate in. Studies show that remaining active and vital is the key to aging well and living a long, meaningful life.
Research overwhelmingly demonstrates that falls are often the result of a combination of factors or conditions that make the possibility of a fall greater. Therefore, to prevent falls its critical to identify risks and make every effort to reduce and eliminate potential perils as they are identified.
The key to avoiding fall-related injuries is prevention. There are numerous steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of falls. Keeping floors free of tripping hazards, ensuring adequate lighting, and installing handrails and grab bars in restrooms will prevent many accidental falls. Another important factor to help prevent a fall is to make sure you have good fitting footwear that provides good support and has non-slip soles.
Other ways to prevent falls include staying active and doing exercises that help maintain balance and build muscle strength, especially in the legs. Activities like walking and stretching and other forms of exercise can boost self-confidence and help to reduce your risk of falling.
VISIT YOUR DOCTOR REGULARLY
Regular doctor visits are another important part of a falls prevention plan. Be sure to have your hearing and vision checked annually. Report any falls or dizziness to your doctor. It’s also important to review medications, as its been shown that people who take four or more medications are at greater risk of falling than those who take fewer medications.
FALLS ARE COSTLY
Falls are costly, financially, of course. But they are also costly psychologically. People who have fallen once are twice as likely to experience another fall. Being gripped by the fear of a fall can be crippling. Adults who fear falling may withdraw from social engagements, and not want to exercise or even perform simple errands for fear of falling.
IF YOU FALL…
If you do fall, tell your doctor even if you are not injured. There may be an underlying reason that caused you to fall. If the reason can be identified and resolved, it may prevent you from having a more serious fall in the future. Older adults tend to experience more serious injuries from falls plus they typically heal slower. Therefore, prevention is always the key to success.
Recover Health, a regional full-service home health care provider, offers our Confident Steps Fall Prevention Program which is aimed at helping older adults break the fall cycle.