PCADD – “Preventing falls in older adults is a matter of balance”

Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Older adults are at serious risk of injury or death from falls. Each year one out of three adults age 65 and older experiences a fall.

These kinds of falls can lead to head trauma, lacerations, and fractures including hip fractures.  Non-fatal falls often result in hospitalization and recuperation.

Even if these falls don’t result in injury, often these adults develop a fear of falling.  Because of this fear, they often limit their activities which can decrease both mobility and physical fitness.

Unfortunately loss of mobility and fitness usually increase the likelihood of falls.  But the good news is there are actions to take to prevent falls and maintain older adults’ independence. Actions include attending a Matter of Balance: Fall Prevention class series and additional steps below.

You or an older loved one can work to prevent falls by attending a Matter of Balance: Fall Prevention class. Local University of Missouri Extension offices are offering this class series in Bowling Green, MO starting June 11.

Class dates are June 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27 and July 2 and 3. We will meet at the Pike County Agency for Developmental Disabilities located at 900 Independence Drive in Bowling Green. Class time is 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Please register by calling the Pike County Extension office at 573-324-5464.

There is a $5 fee for materials. We can have new participants join the class up until the third session or June 18. If you have any questions ask for Sherry Nelson.

If you need accommodations for a disability or other medical condition please inform us when you register. Here is an opportunity to do your part to prevent falls for yourself or others. Everyone is welcome. Class is limited to 25 people.

 

Other important ways to decrease falls include these steps:

• Exercise regularly. Exercises that focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance are very important. Tai Chi programs are another way to improve strength and balance.

• Have your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines—both prescription and over-the counter.  The idea is to reduce side effects and interactions causing dizziness or drowsiness.

• Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update eyeglasses to maximize your vision.

• Make your home safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars and railings, and improving the lighting in your home.

Additional ways to lower hip fracture risk include:

• Make sure you get adequate calcium and vitamin D in your diet for bone strength.

• Start a program of weight bearing exercise.

• Get screened and treated for osteoporosis.

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