September 22, 2017 is the 10th annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day (FPAD)—celebrated, appropriately enough, on the first day of fall.
Preventing falls is important for all age groups, but it is particularly important for older Americans. Here’s why:
• 1 in 3 older Americans falls every year—with falls the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for those of us over age 65.
• More than 90% of older adults have a chronic health condition such as arthritis or diabetes that can increase the risk of falling.
• Every 11 seconds, an older American visits the ER for a fall-related injury.
• Falls result in hip fractures and other broken bones as well as head injuries.
That’s the bad news. But the good news—and it’s very good news, indeed—is that most falls are preventable.
Here are six tips from the Falls Free® program of the National Council on Aging. (For more information, including an excellent short video, visit the council’s site at www.ncoa.org/FPAD.)
1. Find a balance/exercise program to increase your stability, strength, and flexibility and improve your gait. (Tip: Sterling Court has several great ones. See below for more info.)
2. Talk to your doctor if you’ve fallen or are afraid you’ll fall. (Your doctor or healthcare provider can assess your potential for falls.)
3. Check your medications. Any med or combination of meds can cause dizziness. (Tell your doctor or pharmacist what you’re taking, because even over-the-counter stuff can cause problems.)
4. Have a yearly eye and hearing exam. (Recent studies show that hearing problems can be linked to falls.)
5. Keep your environment safe. (That means improving lighting, removing obstacles, using non-slip mats in the shower, etc.)
6. Talk to your family. (Share any concerns you have and ask them to help you in your efforts to be fall-free.)
Improving your Balance
Sterling Court has a rich menu of balance improvement opportunities:
• Mind Jog & Exercise to Asian Music with Debbie Au – Every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in the Revere Room
• Senior Fitness Video – Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 11 a.m. in the Revere Room
• Sterling Walkers – Every Friday at 11 a.m., weather permitting
• Yoga with April – Every Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the Revere Room
• Shape up with Sofia De La Vega – Every Monday at 11 a.m. in the Revere Room
These terrific classes focus on balance, posture, core strength, stamina, and mental agility—all the things you need to prevent you from falling. An added bonus: You’ll have fun and sleep better, too.
For some up-close-and-personal tips on preventing falls, mark your calendar for 10 a.m., Friday, September 22 in the Revere Room. We’ll be celebrating Falls Prevention Awareness Day with a speaker!
Read this article and more in our September newsletter.
We can help with apartment availability and scheduling tours, or send an application for residence. Let us know what you are interested in learning more about and how we can help you!