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Sheltering Arms Blog

No Falls This Fall!

fall_prevention

Posted on: October 30, 2019 by Jenny Lankford

By: Abbey Colley, MS, ACSM EP-C

“It will never happen to me.” That is what most people think when it comes to falls. The problem is that falls happen all too often for older adults in the U.S. Our goal is to give you the tools, knowledge, and exercises you need to prevent having a fall this fall, and year round!

Here is the rundown on falling down:

  • One in every five falls result in a fracture or head injury
  • Over 3 million adults age 65 and older are treated for falls and fall-related injuries. 800,000 of those are hospitalized for their injuries
  • 95% of hip fractures and most traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are caused by falls
  • The cost to treat falls and fall-related injuries totaled more than $50 billion in 2015
  • In that same year, almost 30,000 adults 65 and older died as the result of a fall

You may be thinking “Could I be at risk for a fall?” or you might still be thinking “It could never happen to me.” So, here are some things that put you at a higher risk of falling:

  • Muscle weakness, especially in the lower body
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Difficulty seeing or vision problems
  • Pain or decreased sensation in feet
  • Improper footwear
  • Difficulties with balance and mobility
  • Some medications (sedatives, antidepressants, tranquilizers, or anything that makes you dizzy, sleepy, or affects your mental state)
  • Hazards at home such as broken/uneven surfaces and steps, thick rugs, or clutter
  • History of previous falls

It’s important to know if you are at higher risk and what you can do to minimize your risk of falling. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend increasing strength, balance, stability, and flexibility to reduce fall risk in older adults. Strengthening your lumbopelvic complex (your core including your abs, hips, glutes, and low back) will enhance body control and reduce risk of injury during activities of daily living (ADLs). Increasing balance, stability, and flexibility will also allow for more effective and safer ADLs. Daily stretching (holding each stretch for 30-60 seconds) will improve flexibility and range of motion. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NIH recommend the following to reduce your risk of falling:

Sheltering Arms has a complete spectrum of active aging services to help you prevent or recover from injury or illness. Click here to learn more about our Active Aging program.

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