Fall Prevention Awareness Week

Do you have a parent or relative over the age of 65? Did you know that one-third of people over the age of 65 fall every year, and 50 percent of those are 80 or older? It's Fall Prevention Awareness Week, and NAFC wants to help spread the word. Risk factors for falls include: muscle weakness, a history of falls, gait and balance problems, the need to use a walker or cane, visual impairment, arthritis, difficulties doing activities of daily living (bathing, toileting, dressing, and transferring), depression, cognitive impairment or memory problems, and age greater than 80.

Falls can also happen as a result of bladder and bowel control problems. The possibility of falling is present as someone rushes to the bathroom with the urge to urinate or as someone walks to the bathroom in the dark multiple times during the night. Below are some tips to help prevent falls due to nocturia. Pass these tips on to a parent or relative who might be at risk for a fall:

• When getting out of bed, sit on the edge of the bed for few minutes before standing.

• Keep the path to bathroom clear of clutter.

• Wear slippers with non-skid soles.

• Remove loose rugs.

• If you are using a walker or a cane, keep it beside the bed.

• Take time to turn on lights.

• Frail and elderly with multiple risk factors may benefit from a bedside commode.

• Vitamin D is important in decreasing the risk of injury with a fall.

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