September 18-24 is Falls Prevention Awareness Week, a time to raise awareness about fall prevention and how to reduce overall risk. According to the National Council on Aging, an older adult is seen in the ER for a fall-related injury every 11 seconds!
The factors that can contribute to an unexpected fall are plentiful, but there are some ways that you can work to reduce that risk:
Make sure to work on maintaining your balance, strength, and flexibility.
Keep your health care provider in the loop - ask for a falls risk assessment and update them on any recent falls that you've had.
Regularly review your medications and potential side effects with a health care professional, such as your provider or pharmacist.
Schedule routine annual exams to check your vision and hearing (and make sure to update your glasses if your vision changes.)
Remove any potential tripping hazards from your home, and make sure there's adequate lighting in areas of your house that you frequent.
Communicate about any fall risks with family members and enlist their help to take steps to reduce that risk.
Knowing who may be able to help reduce your fall risk is key to being able to live independently and safely. Though your primary care provider may cross your mind first, MCMC's rehabilitation and therapy department will also be happy to work with you on individualized fall prevention plans. Call (507) 836-6111 to learn more.