Falls Prevention Awareness Day (Sept. 22nd)
In the U.S., more than 5 million adults over 65 suffer from vertigo or balance disorder. These disorders can lead to severe consequences like falls, broken bones, and other injuries, as well as an increased risk of falling. To this end, many healthcare providers, community centers, and private organizations host awareness events on Falls Protection Awareness Day. This day is observed annually on the last Wednesday in September to educate about the risks of falling and ways to prevent falls. It was initiated by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) in 2012 and has since spread to several states, with various activities planned each year.
What is Falls Protection Awareness Day?
Falls Protection Awareness Day (FPAD) is a day dedicated to raising awareness about protecting falls among aging adults. This day is observed annually on the last Wednesday of September to educate about the risks of falling and ways to prevent falls. Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries and hospitalizations among those 65 and older, but they still can happen to anyone.
Falls aren’t just a problem for older people. According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of injury among people in every age group. One in three people will experience a fall each year. But for people 65 and older, that number jumps to one in two. This is because as we age, our bodies change. We lose muscle mass, our vision may be less sharp, and our reaction times may be slower. These factors put us at a higher risk of falling.
Why is Falls Protection Awareness Day Important?
Falls are a serious public health issue affecting millions of Americans but are also highly preventable. Raising awareness about fall prevention can help prevent millions of injuries and deaths caused by these preventable accidents. At the same time, we also reduce the burden on our healthcare and long-term care systems. Additionally, falls are often a sign of a more significant health issue that may require medical care. For example, they may be signs of a problem such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, or a mental health condition such as depression. This means that addressing falls can help people identify and get treatment for these underlying issues.
Slips and Falls in Nursing Homes
Very common place slips and falls happen are in nursing homes. Nursing homes have an obligation to protect their residents from injury due to a fall. However, this doesn’t always happen. You may be eligible for compensation if you or a loved one has been injured from a slip and fall in a nursing home. Reach out to Queen Yasmine Law today to learn more about filing a claim with a personal injury lawyer.
Tips to Prevent Falling During Fall Awareness Day and Beyond
If you are over 65 or know someone who is, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of falling. Here are some tips from the National Council on Aging:
Get More Exercise
Being more physically active can help improve your balance and strength, which can help reduce your risk of falling.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight increases the risk of falling by up to 50%, while maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of falling by as much as 30%.
Keep Your Home Safe
Make sure there are no hazards in your home that might lead to a fall—clean and dry surfaces with a squeegee to reduce the risk of falling on floors indoors. Remove throw rugs, make sure your furniture is secure, and use lighting to illuminate dark areas.
Wear Sturdy Shoes
Make sure your shoes have adequate support and are not slippery.
Get an Annual Eye Exam
Make sure your prescription and vision are up to date.
Invest in Assistive Devices
Devices such as walkers, canes, knee pads, and soft grips help reduce the risk of falling.
Stay Socially Active and Connected.
This can help reduce feelings of isolation and depression, which often leads to falling.
Get Help if You Need it.
If you feel you need assistance with daily tasks, reach out to your loved ones and local services to help assist. Falls are a serious public health issue, affecting millions of aging adults. On Falls Protection Awareness Day, we can help raise awareness about preventing falls. In addition to providing much-needed education about falls, this day also serves as a reminder to check in on loved ones and neighbors to help prevent falls from happening in the first place. By getting informed and taking steps to prevent falls, we can help reduce the number of falls each year.