Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in older adults; each year, one in three older adults will fall; an injury from a fall can impact quality of life for older adults; and every 15 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury. Falls are preventable and they are not an inevitable part of aging, according to the National Council on Aging. Visit http://www.gethealthyclarkcounty.org/be-safe/senior-fall-statistics.php for statistics and information about injuries related to falls among seniors.
The Southern Nevada Health District and its Nevada Goes Fall Free Coalition partners have designated Sept. 22-26 as Fall Prevention Awareness Week to coincide with National Fall Prevention Awareness Day, Sun., Sept. 23. Screenings are designed to determine if participants are at high risk for falls.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a home checklist with information to reduce the risk of falls on its website at: http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/CheckListForSafety.html. Information includes:
- Exercise regularly to improve bone health, balance and coordination.
- Make homes safer by removing items from stairs/walkways to prevent tripping, avoid using step stools, use non-slip mats in tubs and showers, improve lighting, remove throw rugs or put double-sided tape on them to prevent slipping, install handrails/lights on staircases.
- Consult a healthcare provider to review medications as some can cause lightheadedness or drowsiness and increase the risk of falling.
- Have a vision check because poor vision or incorrect lens prescriptions can increase the risk of falls.