“National Falls Prevention Awareness Day” is September 23, 2011 Posted September 2, 2011 in Our articles

It’s official, falls pose a risk to all of us. In recognition of this fact, in 2010 the Senate voted to designate September 23rd, the first day of fall as National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, to raise the awareness of and encourage the prevention of falls.  Falls affect people of all ages, however the consequences of a fall in the frail or elderly can be catastrophic.  According to the Center’s For Disease Control and Prevention, falls among those 65 and older are the leading cause of injury and death, and the most common cause of hospital admissions and nonfatal injuries.

Statistics aside, talk to anyone who’s experienced a fall, falls can be life changing.  Most importantly, assessing one’s own risk of fall and determining interventions that should be made are critical. How to begin?

Investigate your home environment, determine what must be adjusted, review the setting with your family, caregivers, your Primary Care Physician and make alterations to limit risk. Explore high risk areas and critically assess locations including bathrooms, hallways, entryways, stairways, thresholds, dimly lit corridors and cluttered areas. Target the bathroom, consider the motions of getting in and out of the shower or tub, on and off the toilet—are there modifications that can be made?  Consider the benefit of handrails, grab bars, increased lighting and clearing clutter. One’s vision can change, it may be time for an eye exam, consider the possibility of a medication side effect that may result in visual changes or ambulatory instability. The Pennsylvania Department of Health offers four preventative suggestions.

Awareness and intervention can aid in fall prevention. Avoid an unwelcome insult, be aware and assess for Fall Prevention on September 23, or even before…