The first day of fall, September 22, is observed as Falls Prevention Awareness Day (FPAD) in the United States. This year marks the 9th annual FPAD with the theme – “Ready, Steady, Balance: Prevent Falls in 2016”. The aim of this event is to spread awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults. And every member of the family is involved because as the National Council on Aging (NCOA) notes, falls are not just a seniors’ issue.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and hip fractures among older people. Falls can also prove fatal. According to CDC, unintentional fall death rates per 100,000 adults age 65 and older rose from 43 to almost 60 over the period 2005-2014.
The NCOA offers the following recommendations to reduce the risk of falls:
- Build balance, strength and flexibility by enrolling in a reliable balance and exercise program
- Get a fall risk assessment
- Have your medications reviewed regularly by your physician or pharmacist
- Get an annual vision and hearing exam and update eye glasses
- Make your home fall-safe by removing tripping hazards, improving lighting, and installing grab bars where needed
- Ask your family members for support to prevent falls
Professional multispecialty healthcare centers in Brooklyn that provide geriatric care offer slip/falls prevention programs. A comprehensive program would include fall risk assessment and conditioning. Managed by geriatric care specialists, pain management physicians and orthopedists, the program is customized to suit the needs of the participant. Other services available for older adults include pain management, orthopedics, rehabilitation services, and MRI scan and diagnostics.