Falls Prevention Awareness Week, September 22-29, 2013
The Falls Prevention Workgroup and Division of Aging Services are promoting the 5th Annual Falls Prevention Awareness Week, September 22-29, 2013. Governor Christie declared September 23-29, 2013 Falls Prevention Awareness week with events happening throughout the state. The fall prevention workgroup is comprised of PTs, EMS personnel, health educators, etc.¬†
It is reported that more than one third of adults age 65 and older fall each year in the US. In New Jersey, an average of 194 people age 60 and over are treated in the ER or as inpatients due to a fall. Falls are the number one cause of brain injury in adults. as you can tell, falls are a serious problem.
The upside to this is that falls are preventable. And that is what Fall Prevention Week is all about, bringing awareness to the issue and helping people to prevent falls.
First things first, exercise is a good idea. It will increase your strength, flexibility and balance.
Make sure to get important exams, like an eye exam, yearly. Make sure your doctor and pharmacist review your medicines- both prescription and over the counter to make sure there are no side effects or interactions that could put you at risk. Also, there are some medications that can cause dizziness or weakness, so make sure you are aware if you are taking any with those side effects.
Wear the right footwear. You‚Äôd be surprised how many falls are due to this. Make sure your shoes fit properly and have non-slip soles.
You can do things around the house to make it safer as well. Remove clutter in your hallways and rooms. Make sure any wires or cords are out of the way. Make lights brighter, especially in stairways. Install bath grips or grab bars in your tub or shower. Limiting the use of area rugs is a good idea, but if you use them, make sure they are the kind with non-skid liners.
The best way to make Fall Prevention Awareness Week in NJ a success is by spreading the word.
And be sure to check out the 24th Episode of NJFA‚Äôs TV Program, Aging Insights, which features exercises that help to promote strength and balance!