Did you know that one in every three adults age 65 and older fall each year? Falls can cause a variety of injuries but the most common are hip fractures and head injuries. These injuries can increase the risk of early death and decrease independence and quality of life. Falls are a huge public health problem and are very costly. Are falls a natural part of aging? No. Falls are preventable and older adults can remain independent and active.
What can you do to prevent falls?
- Begin a regular exercise program that includes strength and balance exercises.
- Have a doctor or pharmacist review all the medicines you take, even over-the-counter medicines. Combinations of medicines can make you sleepy or dizzy and can cause a fall.
- Have your vision checked by an eye doctor at least once a year.
- Make your home safer by:
- Removing things you can trip over including small throw rugs
- Keeping items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without a step stool
- Have grab bars put in next to your toilet and in the tub or shower
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on the shower floors
- Improve the lighting in your home especially at the top and bottom of stairs, inside and out
- Have handrails on all staircases, inside and outside
- Wear shoes both inside and outside the house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers
Fall Prevention Services
Fall Prevention Services Denver metro area residents have access to the Fall Prevention Network (FPN), a non-profit service that connects older adults to fall prevention services. The FPN can connect you with a network of service providers that offer one or more of the following:
- Physical activity programs to improve mobility, agility and balance
- Home safety checks and modifications
- Medication reviews
- Vision services
To request referrals for fall prevention services or a free presentation, visit the FPN website or call (303) 922-5555 during business hours. Falls are preventable. Call before you fall.
The Fall Prevention Network also offers free presentations to older adults throughout the Denver metro area. Participants will learn fall prevention tips from a multi-disciplinary team of professionals. This includes four important steps to reduce the risk of falling and resources available through the Fall Prevention Network that can help.
Stepping On Workshop
Stepping On is a program that empowers older adults to carry out health behaviors that reduce the risks of falls, improve self-management, and increase quality of life. Stepping On reduced falls by 31% in a randomized trial published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (September 2004).
This class is ideal for people who are 60 years or older who are at risk of falling, have a fear of falling or who have fallen one or more times. Subjects covered in this 7 week class are improving balance and strength, home environmental safety, vision, and medication review. Call (303) 788-6587 to inquire about a "Stepping On" fall prevention class.