September 22nd is the first day of fall, and marks the 11th annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Week during September 21-25th. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older adults. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), one-fourth of older adults aged 65+ fall every year. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and every 19 seconds, an older adult dies from a fall.
While there is no way to 100% prevent falls, there are steps one can take to reduce the risk. However, how does one know if he or she needs to take steps? Anyone can develop fall risk. Below we’ll discuss ways to tell if someone is at risk of a fall.
- Have they had a fall in the last 12 months? One is more likely to experience another fall if he or she has fallen before.
- Do they have Parkinson’s Disease? Parkinson’s symptoms can lead to falls.
- Have they had a stroke recently? Falls are more likely to happen after a stroke.
- Do they take four or more medications a day? The side-effects of multiple medications can leave one at more of a risk for a fall.
- Do they have issues with balance? Balance issues are a leading cause of falls.
- Do they struggle to get up from a chair? Most people should be able to stand up from a chair of knee height without use of their arms.
If the answer is yes for two or more of the above questions, then it might be time to speak with a medical professional about fall risks. Remember, we are here to help. We can develop an at-home fall-risk reduction program tailored to you.