September is observed as Falls Prevention Awareness Month. September 23, 2015, the first day of fall, marks the 8th annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, sponsored by the National Council on Aging.
This year’s theme for Falls Prevention Awareness Day is “Take a Stand to Prevent Falls.” The goal of this year's theme is to bring together professionals, older adults, caregivers and family members to raise awareness and prevent falls in the older adult population. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia participated in Falls Prevention Awareness Day last year.
Elderly fall prevention is more critical than ever before to families. Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls and the results can be life-altering. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2.5 million people aged 65 years and older are treated in emergency departments for injuries from falls.
Fall Prevention Strategies
With one out of three adults aged 65 and over suffering a fall each year, Sharon Roth Maguire, MS, RN, GNP-BC, Chief Clinical Quality Officer of BrightStar Care, offers the following preventative measures that seniors and their families can take to actively combat the main causes of falling amongst seniors:
- Take the proper home safety measures and modifications to reduce home hazards that may attribute to falls
- Store important items in lower shelves/cabinets
- Clear all cords and wires out hallways and doorways
- Install ramps or sturdy handrails on indoor/outdoor staircases
- Install handrails and non-slip mats in the bathroom
- Be educated on both the prescription and nonprescription medication that a loved one is taking
- Falling is a common adverse effect of some medications
- Be sure to ask your pharmacist if medications associated with falls can be reduced or switched to a safer alternative
- Shift educational messages on falling to be positive and focused on healthy living/wellness
- Promote physical mobility and exercise to both support independent living and reduce falling
- Make sure to have the proper help
- Certain chronic conditions, such as Parkinson’s or heart disease, can increase the risk of falling. Make sure a loved one is properly cared for and that their treatment plans are being followed
“Focus on Falls” Fall Prevention Program
At BrightStar Care, our “Focus on Falls” fall prevention program has us hyper-focused on safety and prevention throughout the year but especially in September as part of National Falls Prevention Awareness Day on September 23. Elderly people can lose their sense of balance, judgment and motor skills as they get older. This results in awkward falls, and with weakened bones, extreme cases can lead to severe breaks or even further gravely complications.
“Focus on Falls” fall prevention program is a unique solution that pairs our clinical expertise and patient education for family caregivers to reduce fall risk by managing chronic conditions, monitoring medications and helping to address other top causes of falls in seniors. Hear more about our cutting-edge approach to fall risk reduction from our resident RN Sharon Roth Maguire:
All year long and especially leading up to National Falls Prevention Awareness Day on September 23, fall prevention is at the forefront of our minds and attention. For more helpful tips, videos, blog articles and downloads, please see the Elderly Fall Resource Center.
At BrightStar Care, we believe that fall risk prevention is of utmost importance and agree that most falls are preventable. If you are looking for more help and support for a loved one who might be at risk of falling, contact us today for a free in-home assessment to identify key risk factors and provide a comprehensive plan on how to decrease their likelihood of experiencing a fall.