The statistics on fall-related injuries are quite staggering. Every 11 seconds emergency department staff across the U.S. attend to an older adult who has taken a fall. One-third of those over age 65 will fall every year.
September is “Fall Prevention Month” in Wisconsin. Our state has one of the highest death rates in the country for accidental falls – twice the national average. It’s why the mission of the Wisconsin Falls Prevention Initiative is to reduce accidental falls, fall-related injuries and deaths among the state’s older adults through community-based and preventative medical care.
How to help older adults take control before a fall:
- Enroll in a good exercise program – This will help build balance, strength and flexibility.
- Communicate with your health care provider – How much is your loved on at risk of falling? Be honest and share any recent incidents with professionals to assess the situation.
- Reevaluate your medications – Are there side effects with medicines that could lead to falling more often? Consult with a doctor or pharmacist.
- Consider your eyesight and hearing – When you can see and hear well, you’re less likely to fall. Update glasses prescriptions and have eyes checked annually.
- Review home safety – Are there tripping hazards or low lighting in areas that should be updated? Think about installing grab bars where necessary.
- Speak with your family – When someone takes a fall, it affects everyone in the home and extended family. Make sure they have much-needed support to keep them from harm.
Through research and planning, many Wisconsin communities have implemented fall prevention or healthy aging programs and associations. There is also a falls prevention workshop available in almost all Wisconsin counties to address the risk factors. There is proof that the state’s program, Stepping On, has curbed the number older adults who fall each year by more than 30%. You can also learn more on how to fall-proof your home or take a self-assessment survey from the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging.
Here at Castle Senior Living, Fall Prevention is a key focus due to how much it impacts the overall health and wellness of our residents. Our rooms and public areas are set up to avoid tripping hazards and prevent falls. If you have questions or concerns on how to prevent falls at home or elsewhere, we encourage you to reach out. We’re happy to provide support!