Falls Prevention: Safety Tips for Seniors

To The Editor:

Sept. 22 begins National Falls Prevention Awareness Week, an effort to educate people about how to prevent and reduce falls, especially among older adults.

In the United States, more than 11 million people over age 65 fall each year— that’s one of every three seniors in the country. Plus, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries to older people and cause more than 90 percent of hip fractures.

While falls can happen to people of all ages, the older you are, the more susceptible you are to injury, and recovery becomes more challenging.

Taking four or more medications, especially those that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.

Family caregivers should encourage older loved ones to get an annual vision exam because failing vision can go unnoticed when someone is able to carry out daily activities. Vision problems can be the cause of a fall.

It’s important to make periodic assessments of the home to reduce tripping hazards. Keep pathways clear of clutter, make sure floors are dry, ensure that stairs are level and evenly spaced and install handrails wherever there is more than one step down.

Alicia Schwartz is a care coordinator for VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans

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