September 22 is annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day. This day is to help bring awareness of how falls can impact your body and your life. It is also a day where information will be provided to help you prevent falls and fall-related injuries. Falls are one of the major causes of injuries in older adults and seniors and in many cases require hospitalization. They are the main cause of hip fractures and half of all falls happen at home.
What causes falls?
- Poor balance.
- Decreased muscle and bone strength.
- Reduced vision and/or hearing.
- Unsafe conditions in and around your home.
You can prevent falls by ensuring you eat well, stay in shape and check your home for fall hazards.
In Your Home
- Reduce clutter and anything that presents an obstacle while walking. Make sure all areas of your home are well lit by installing night lights.
- Clear all pathways, especially those that are used the most such as between the bedroom and the bathroom. Throw away small rugs or mats or else purchase those that are non-slip.
- Install grab bars where they are needed in the bathroom and always use a bathmat in the bathtub.
- Re-organize your kitchen cupboards so everything can be reached safely, especially the most used items. Heavy items should be on low shelves.
- Install handrails on both sides of your stairs and keep clutter off the stairs.
- Entrances to your home should be well lit. Stairs should be kept free of ice and snow.
Healthy Ways to Prevent Falls
- Don’t skip meals and make sure your eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
- Stay physically active.
- Have your vision and hearing checked regularly.
- Be careful with medication. Some medication can cause dizziness so be aware.
- Wear comfortable footwear with a good grip.
To read more about Falls Prevention Awareness Day and access resources with information, click here.