Falls prevention is key – so why aren’t people talking about it?
Many older adults and their families believe falling is a “normal” part of aging. This is NOT true. Falls can be prevented and it’s in YOUR power to prevent falls. There are very simple steps that you can take to assess your fall risk and prevent falls.
“I wasn’t hurt.”
While the older adult who has fallen may not have been injured, falling can affect people in other non-visible ways. People may begin to limit their activities thinking moving around less will reduce their risk of falling. In actuality, the opposite is true. Limiting your activity leads to further loss of muscle strength, flexibility and balance leading to even higher risk of falls. People may also begin to stay home thinking this will reduce their risk of falls however statistically, 78% of falls occur in and around a person’s residence!
“I am afraid my family will put me in a nursing home.” Falls are preventable and it is a team effort. Enlisting the help of an older adult’s doctor and family can result in a plan to evaluate and manage falls risks so that the older adult is able to remain independent and active.
Falls are not inevitable
Here are some ways to prevent falls:
- Exercise regularly to improve strength, flexibility and balance.
- Manage your medication with your doctor – adults taking more than 4 medications are at higher risk for falls.
- Have your vision checked annually.
- Inspect your home for hazards, such as low lighting, things you can trip over (throw rugs, cords), etc.
- If you are having problems with incontinence or urgency, talk with your doctor.
- If you are getting light headed when you stand up, talk with your doctor.
- If you are having dizziness, vertigo or balance problems, talk with your doctor.
Falls Prevention Program at Tallahassee Memorial
TMH Physician Partners, Neurology Specialists offers an evidence-based Falls Prevention Program. The program identifies the risk factors or potential causes for falls and provides a treatment plan to prevent future falls. At your visit, you will complete a screening questionnaire and see a neurologist. When appropriate, you will be evaluated by a specially trained physical therapist and provided with a personalized and comprehensive care plan. For more information on the Falls Prevention Program at Tallahassee Memorial, call 850-431-7009 or visit TMH.ORG/Falls.