Fall Prevention Awareness Week


Marketing Manager

With the first day of fall starting September 23rd, this is also the start of the 2019 Fall Prevention Awareness Week. Falls are the leading cause of injuries, traumatic deaths, and traumatic hospital admission among adults aged 65 and older. Even a fall from ground level can dramatically reduce a person’s quality of life and independence resulting in a variety of injuries ranging from minor bumps and bruises to more serious injuries such as brain bleeding, hip fractures, arm/wrist/leg/ankle fractures, and rib fractures (which can in turn contribute to collapsed lungs/lung contusions). The more you know about fall prevention, the safer you can be.

The most common risk factors for falls include age-related physical changes and often times the medications used to treat those conditions. People who are taking blood thinners may be at risk for more serious injuries resulting from falls. Schedule an appointment with your primary physician to discuss your individual risk factors.

More than half of all falls occur in the home meaning that your home is a danger zone in terms of falling. In the home, people are most likely to fall in living rooms or bedrooms, which is where people spend most of their time at home. Additional locations where people are likely to fall are kitchens or bathrooms, where floors are likely to be wet/slippery, and hallways (http://stopfalls.org/what-is-fall-prevention/faq/).

How can we safeguard our homes to minimize the risk of falls?

  • Secure loose rugs with double-sided tape/slip-resistant backing – if possible, remove loose rugs from your home
  • Move end tables, plant stands, etc. from high traffic areas
  • Remove boxes, newspapers, and cords from walkways
  • Keep frequently used items within easy reach
  • Immediately clean spilled liquids from the floor
  • Use non-split mats in the bathtub/shower
  • Keep your home well lit
  • Make sure paths to the light switches are clear and free from clutter
  • Turn lights on before going up or downstairs

Other tips to help reduce falls include wearing shoes or non-slip socks, participate in routine physical activity such as walking, water aerobics, or other activities that improve strength, balance, flexibility, and muscle strength, and correctly using assistive devices (such as a walker/cane) as needed. Visit stopfalls.org for additional information and resources.

Fall Prevention Center of Excellence
Mayo Clinic