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Facts for All Ages

Take a Stand to Prevent Falls


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Did you know that 1 in 4 Americans aged 65+ falls every year? Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans and are costly - in dollars and quality of life.

However, falling is NOT an inevitable part of aging and many falls are preventable. The first official day of Fall is September 22 and is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. Stay safe with these tips from the National Council on Aging:

1) Find a good balance and exercise program - look to build balance, strength and flexibility. The A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls program is available in many parts of Illinois. This program focuses on exercise, awareness, and prevention.

2) Talk to your health care provider - ask for an assessment of your risk of falling. Share your history of recent falls. Your physician won't be able to help you manage any health-related causes for falls if she doesn't know about them!

3) Regularly review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist - make sure side effects aren't increasing your risk of falling. Take medications only as prescribed.

4) Get your vision and hearing checked annually and update your eyeglasses - your eyes and ears are key to keeping you on your feet.

5) Keep your home safe - Remove tripping hazards, increase lighting, make stairs safe, and install grab bars in key areas.

6) Talk to your family members - enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe. Falls are not just an older adult's issue.

This article was originally written in 2015 by Extension Educator Cara Allen. Source: National Council on Aging. To learn more, visit www.ncoa.org/healthy-aging/falls-prevention/


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