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Health Brief

September 22, 2020

Today is Fall Prevention Awareness Day

Every September on the first day of fall, the Falls Free® Initiative promotes National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. Some sad statistics surrounding falls:

  • One in four Americans age 65+ fall each year.
  • Every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the emergency for an injury from a fall.
  • Every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall.

Although these seem like grim numbers, Falling is NOT a normal part of aging! Falls are largely preventable.

A fall is any unexpected or unintended landing on the ground or a lower surface. This includes slips and trips. You do not need to have injured yourself for it to be considered a fall. Sadly a fall or near fall can induce a “fear of falling” which can then sets one up for increased risk for another fall. Fear of falling may cause you to stop doing activities you once enjoyed, weakens your legs from inactivity, and may lead to feeling alone or isolated leading to depression.

When it comes to falls, many risk factors ARE controllable! For example:

  • Physical inactivity: Talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program. We offer a large variety of fitness programs right here at San Camillo. Look in the Engagement calendar for specific information.
  • Home environment: Clutter, throw rugs, poor lighting, are only a few factors within our homes that can lead to a fall. Consider grab bars, nightlights, non-slip rubber mats and de-cluttering to reduce your risk.
  • Vision/ visual changes: When it comes to vision, the BEST thing we can do to prevent a fall is to clean our glasses…. EVERYDAY!
  • Not using or improper use of Assistive devices: If you are using an assistive device, be certain it is the best tool for job and that it is properly fit for you.
  • Medications: Several medications cause increased risk for falls. Are you taking a “water pill” for your high blood pressure? Are you taking 4 or more medications including Over The Counter and supplements? Yep… that puts you at risk for a fall. Talk with your pharmacist about your medications to learn more about your fall risk.

This week I am offering free one on one Falls Risk Assessment screenings for all San Camillo residents. This includes a brief questionnaire, a review of medications, and a short gait assessment. If you are interested, please call me to schedule your appointment. (414/ 259 – 4681)

We will soon be starting our 3rd session of “A Matter of Steppin’ ON with Lee”, a 6-week falls prevention program. If you are interested in joining this series, check out the hot pink Wellness Program binder outside of the O’Donnell room and sign up.

So, What have you done….. “Just for today”?

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