September 23 is National Fall Prevention Day. Every year over 250,000 people fall, many requiring medical attention. I am going to pay special attention to it on the 23rd, and on other days as well.
I worry a lot about my father falling. Sometimes the most unnoticeable misstep results in him catapulting across the room. I have been there when it has occurred and it happens so quickly that it is hard to describe. Luckily, it has resulted only in some major bruises. He does not seem as concerned or fearful about it as I am.
Maybe he is on to something. A recent studydemonstrated that those who are afraid of falling are more likely to have subsequent falls compared to those who are fearless. So clearly my hysterical behavior doesn’t help. Nonetheless I believe he is one of the 30% of seniors who underestimate their own risk of falling. So I am going to calm down and reinforce fall prevention in his home.
There are several things that both my father and I can do to reduce the likelihood of him falling. Both exercise and getting up slowly after sitting or laying down will help him to maintain his balance. Installing grab bars in his shower will also help as well as wearing shoes while inside.
From a more medical perspective it’s a good idea to look at the medications that he takes. Some may make him spacey or dizzy. And when he is alone I think it’s a good idea if he wears a personal alert device.
To learn more about falls prevention please visit www.stopfalls.org. To see a Home Fall Prevention checklist for older adults see the detailed information on the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control website.
Do any of you have the same concerns about your yourself or your parents?
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