National Falls Prevention Day 2022
September 22nd is National Falls Prevention Day. What’s more, that entire week has been designated as National Falls Prevention Week Many organizations such as Age Safe® America recognize the entire month as a time to spread this important public health message, since falls are the number one leading cause of injury deaths in people over the age of 65. Even those who do not succumb to their injuries, usually continue to experience negative repercussions from the incident. The most common repercussion being loss of independence.
Losing their independence is an elderly person’s biggest concern and worry. Yes, even more than finances. Losing one’s ability to care for themselves and manage their own life and affairs is not on anyone’s bucket list. No, we all want to go out with our boots on, so to speak. So, in honor or recognition of National Falls Prevention Day and Week, let’s take a moment or two to remind ourselves and our loved ones of how important it is to take a preventative approach to not fall, which in turn, greatly reduces the chances of losing their independence.
- Take a walk through each room of the home in which your elderly loved ones live in. Make note of any loose throw rugs that scoot around easily. Do the bathrooms and hallways have adequate light at night to make walking safe and easy? Are there grab bars in the bathroom—especially by the stool and shower if mobility is already an issue? Is there a walk-in shower instead of a tub that has to be stepped in and out of? This can be a fall hazard to a toddler, so…. What about stairs? Would it be possible to eliminate the use of stairs in the home except for occasional use? In other words, can the master suite be moved to the main level of the house if it isn’t already there? And can the deep freeze and/or laundry be moved to the main level, as well?
I know that seventy is the new sixty in a lot of ways, but our bodies don’t get that memo, meaning they are still aging the way they always have.
- If they haven’t already, try to encourage your senior loved ones to ‘convert’ to shoes that don’t have laces or heels.
- Make sure you, your children, or someone else you trust, will be vigilant about clearing the sidewalk or driveways at your loved one’s home when it snows.
- Yard work is a great form of exercise for seniors on many levels. But falls can happen when or if they wear themselves out raking too many leaves, pulling too many weeds, or mowing grass for too long at one time. As long as they are able, let them go for it! Just make sure you check on them via phone or in person to make sure they are safe at the end of the day.
- If you aren’t handy with home repairs, make sure you have someone on hand who is, to avoid the possibility of your loved one falling from a step stool or ladder. In fact, if your loved on is a bit on the stubborn side, you might even need to get rid of these items, so the temptation doesn’t prove to be too much for them.
- Speaking of step stools, take the time to move things around in the kitchen, bedroom closet, and any other location throughout the house that might call for a step stool. Putting things within arm’s reach has proven to be a lifesaver on countless occasions.
National Falls Prevention Day, Week, Month is about implementing safety measures and educating people on how to maintain the independence and quality of life we all want. Let’s not let this time pass without taking the time to do just that.
Guest post By Darla Noble
The views expressed by the author may not reflect the views of Age Safe America, LLC. The content here should not be taken as medical, legal or financial advice. The content here is for informational purposes only, and because each person is so unique, please consult your own healthcare, legal or financial professional with any questions.