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Sep 22 2016
Six simple steps to prevent falls.

Today is officially fall and it's also National Falls Prevention Awareness Day.

Slips, trips and falls can happen to anyone. Every year, one in three adults age 65 and older fall at least once. Falls can cause serious injuries and fractures—and even injury-related deaths. Risk factors that can increase your risk of falling include poor balance, decreased muscle and bone strength, reduced vision or hearing, and unsafe conditions in and around your home. The good news is that falls can be prevented by taking a few simple steps.

Here are some helpful tips to help prevent falls and take control of your health:

Review your medication. Some medications can cause problems with balance. Meet with with your doctor or pharmacist once a year to review your medications and discuss ways to reduce side-effects or interactions.

Keep active. Regular physician activity helps to maintain balance, muscle strength and flexibility. Try a Tai Chi or strengthening class to improve balance and prevent falls.

Have an eye annual exam. Have your eyes checked every year and update glasses as needed. Wear separate glasses for reading and moving around.

Use assistive devices. Use a walking aid, such a cane or walker to maintain your balance.

Fall-proof your home. Nearly half of all injuries among seniors happen at home. Remove loose rugs, add grab rails in the bathroom, improve the lighting, install proper railings on both sides of the stairways, and fix uneven or cracked sidewalks.

Utilize community resources.
Contact your local community or senior center for information on exercise, fall prevention programs or options for improving home safety. 

Don’t let a fall threaten your independence and quality of life. Speak to your healthcare provider and find out what your risk is for falls. Learn how to prevent a fall now, and live a happier, healthier life. 

Pam Posvic is a physical therapist assistant at Rehab Plus. To make an appointment with her, call (920) 320-3100.


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