[SENIOR MOMENTS] Keeping Safe

Stephanie Vendig_mug shot_2016No one is immune from falling. After all, when we were learning to walk, we did a lot of falling. However, the risk of falling is greater as you get older.

According to the National Council of Aging, one in three adults, 65 and older, fall every year in this country.

In fact, every 13 seconds, an older adult is seen in the emergency room for a fall.

Falls are considered the leading cause of injuries in older adults resulting in hip fractures, head trauma and even death. Older adults are hospitalized five times more often because of falls than for injuries from other causes.

Further analysis shows that more than 75% of these falls takes place in an older adult’s own home. In addition, those who are 75 and older are four to five times more likely than those between the ages of 65 to 74 to be admitted to a long-term care facility for a year or longer due to a fall.

The causes of falling are varied. When you were younger, you may have tripped, but because of your muscle tone, it was easier for you to use your muscles to pull you back up.

But during aging, you are less able to rely on your muscles to help with keeping upright or balanced. Becoming sedentary, medications, dehydration, and visual impairment can also lead to falls.

On the other hand, obstacles in your home can be trouble. Thus, it would be beneficial to assess one’s home to avoid unnecessary falls.

The National Council of Aging, a charitable organization, advocates for the 60+ population. Recently they have been focusing on Fall Prevention Programs to reach older adults by promoting a variety of community-based programs.

They are evidence-based programs proven to reduce the risk of falling. These programs address issues of strength, balance, fears of falling, exercises for fitness, and increased activity.

To learn more about these programs as well as tips on fall prevention, go to ncoa.org/healthy-aging/falls-prevention

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