Helpful Information for Guardians and Caregivers
Did you know that 1 in 3 Americans aged 65+ falls every year? Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Falls are costly in dollars and in quality of life. However, falling is not an inevitable part of aging. Through practical lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based programs, and community partnerships, the number of falls among seniors can be reduced substantially. The National Council on Aging’s National Falls Prevention Resource Center supports the implementation of evidence-based falls prevention programs and serves as a national clearinghouse of tools and best practices. This is an incredible resource which is available to guardians and caregivers at no expense.
The Council offers these tips for preventing falls:
- Find a good balance and exercise program. The key is to develop strength and flexibility.
- Talk to your healthcare provider. Discuss prior incidents and request an assessment of fall risk.
- Regularly review medications with your loved one’s pharmacist. Drug interactions may very well be causing instability.
- Have vision and hearing checked annually. Deficits in either of these areas can easily result in falls.
- Make the home safe by removing trip hazards and consider installing rails where appropriate. Lighting should also be examined.
Falling is not a normal part of the aging process. Staying at home and limiting activities does not lower the risks of a fall. Moreover, physical activities will enable seniors to stay independent. Some seniors are concerned that the use of a walker or cane will make them dependent upon these devices. However, the fact is that they will actually help maintain or improve mobility.