Did you know 1 in 4 older adults fall every year in the United States? Many people think falls are a normal part of aging. The truth is falls are not a normal part of aging, and can be avoided!

The National Council on Aging is raising awareness on fall prevention among older adults through its annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day on September 22nd, 2018. Most falls are preventable and each person has the power to reduce their risk of falls. The following are methods you can take to prevent falls: performing strengthening and balance exercises, managing medications, getting regular vision exams, and modifying your living environment to improve safety and independence.

More than 50% of falls occur in the home.  To improve safety in your home it is important to fix simple but serious hazards such as removing clutter, throw rugs, and replacing poor lighting. Other simple home modifications to help increase safety include installing grab bars in the bathroom, adding a second handrail on stairs, and applying non-slip paint on outdoor steps.

Taking multiple medications may also increase your risk of falling. Medications may impact a person’s level of alertness, at times making them more sleepy or fatigued. Additionally, medications may cause dizziness. Both fatigue and dizziness are fall risk factors. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about potential side effects or interactions with your medications.

Strength and mobility are areas that can be addressed and improved in the aging population. It is common to experience muscle loss as a part of aging, but there are effective ways to slow this progression and improve overall strength, leading to decreased risk of falls. Exercise and activity can also improve flexibility and balance, contributing to better health. It’s never too late to start an exercise program! Hegg Health Center offers physical therapy to assist with improving balance, strength, and decreasing fall risk. We also have a wellness center where you can continue to maintain your fitness. If you are interested in a home assessment to improve the safety and accessibility of your home we can also assist in this area. Please contact Hegg Rehabilitation and Wellness at any time with questions or inquiries: 476-8080.

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