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National Falls Prevention Awareness Day

September 22, the first day of fall, marks the 10th annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, sponsored by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). This year’s theme is Taking a Stand to Prevent Falls, with the focus on uniting professionals, older adults and family members to help raise awareness and prevent falls among elders. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related emergency department visits for older adults, the major cause of hip fractures, and responsible for more than half of fatal head injuries. According to NCOA statistics, every 11 seconds an elder is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury. Most falls are preventable, so to help reduce the risk of fall related injuries, the NCOA recommends the following six, simple steps:

  • Find a good balance and exercise program
    Building balance, strength and flexibility aids in preventing falls and helps mitigate more serious injuries from happening when falls do occur. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging for referrals and bring a friend!
  • Talk to a health care provider
    Your doctor can provide an assessment of your risk of falling and help you design a personalized fall prevention plan.
  • Regularly review medications with your doctor or pharmacist
    Some medications have side effects that can increase your risk of falling.
  • Get your vison and hearing checked annually
    Your eyes and ears are key to keeping you on your feet. Don’t forget to update your eyeglasses as needed!
  • Keep your home safe
    Removing trip hazards, increasing lighting, making your stairs safe and installing grab bars in key areas are just a few easy ways to help make your home fall-safe.
  • Talk to your family members
    Enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe, after all, falls are not just a seniors’ issue.
  • bars in key areas are just a few easy ways to help make your home fall-safe.

To find out more on how to protect and empower safe independence among the elders in your life, check out the links below for resources.

    • National Council On Aging’s Falls Prevention website
    • The American Occupational Therapy Association’s Falls Prevention Kit:
    Includes handouts for tips on fall prevention + a free power point presentation (with narration script) for giving your own Falls Prevention talk.