Fall Prevention Planning

Make Your Falls-Free Plan | Medication & Falling

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[jbox title=”Fall Prevention & You”]Falls are a serious public health problem. Falling, and the fear of falling, can lead to¬†depression and hopelessness, loss of mobility, and loss of functional independence.[/jbox]

Did You Know?

  • More than one third of adults 65 and older fall each year in the United States.
  • In 2009, more than 20,442 older Americans died due to a fall, 305 of those in NJ.
  • Falls are the most common cause of¬†hospital admissions for trauma.
  • In NJ, every 8 minutes an older adult 60+ is seen in the emergency room for a¬†fall.
  • In NJ, 75% of falls seen in the ER and admitted as inpatients were 60 or older¬†(2009).
  • Falls are the #1 cause of brain injury among older adults
  • Falls are the leading cause of injury¬†deaths among older adults.

The Good News Is Falls Are Preventable!

Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of falling:

  • Exercise regularly. It increases strength, flexibility and balance.
  • Have your eyes checked by a doctor at least once a year.
  • Wear the right footwear. The safest shoes fit your feet, have low heels, non-slip¬†soles, and lace up or are secured with fabric fasteners.
  • Make your home safer by removing fall hazards and improving lighting.
    • Remove clutter like loose papers, boxes, wires, and phone cords from¬†walk paths and stairways.
    • Make lights brighter, especially in stairways. Consider a nightlight in the¬†bath, bedroom, and hallways.
    • Install bath grips or grab bars in your tub or shower.
    • Use non-skid liners under rugs. Or, better still, remove all throw rugs.
  • Ask the doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines-both prescription and¬†over-the-counter.
    • Many medicines can cause side effects such as weakness or dizziness.
    • Taking four or more medications increases your risk for a fall.

What Should I Do If I Fall?

You should always be prepared for a fall, just in case it does happen.

  • Do not stand up right away
  • Remain calm and still
  • Take a few deep breaths
  • Use a chair to steady yourself and¬†rise up enough to sit on the chair and rest
  • If you are hurt or cannot get up, call for help
  • If alone, stay where you are and try to get comfortable¬†while you wait for help to arrive

Always try to: 

  1. Hold a cell phone, portable phone, or personal emergency response system at all times.
  2. Arrange for a friend or family member to call you at a specific time each day.