September 22-28, is Falls Prevention Awareness Week in North Carolina and the Sampson County Department of Aging would like to share information on how to prevent Older Adults from falling.
Falling is not a normal part of the aging process and there are steps that we can take to prevent this from happening:
1) Education yourself by getting information from Sampson County Department of Aging or searching the Internet by typing in NC Falls Prevention;
2) Dispose of outdated or unneeded medication properly;
3) Avoid medication interactions. Talk to your pharmacist about your medications and possible side effects or drug interactions.
4) Focus on strength and balance exercises like Tai chi. We offer a Tai Chi class free of charge to people 18 and older through a partnership with The Center for Health and Wellness on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:15am to 12:00pm – call Angela Faircloth at 592-4653 for more information.
5) Focus on your vision. Clean your glasses and call for an eye appointment if you are due.
6) Talk to your doctor.
7) Keep your home clear of clutter. Install handrails.
Caregivers need to talk to their older loved ones about falls prevention. And from a physical therapist’s perspective, an explanation of why and how falls are preventable: “The more that you have prepared your body to deal with unexpected obstacles the better chance you have of catching yourself and preventing that fall. Strength is important, but it’s not the whole story with falling … Part of walking normally is the momentum that pushes your legs forward, and if you hold yourself back out of fear, you are actually working harder to take each step, setting yourself up for more instability.”
— Emily Keshner is chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at Temple University
For resources on falls prevention in North Carolina, including data and ideas for activities to promote Falls Prevention Awareness Week, check out the North Carolina Falls Prevention Coalition Website.