This is Falls Prevention Awareness Week, a nationwide effort to raise awareness in seniors that falls are preventable.
The goal of the week, which ends Saturday, is to reach millions of older adults with the simple message: You can take steps to prevent a fall.
The National Council on Aging says that for many years, fall have been the #1 cause fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults, leading to serious injuries and increased risk of additional falls.
The Council on Aging says the first step in preventing falls is doing a fall risk assessment that looks at an individual’s history of falling and potential causes such as medication, health issues, and environmental factors.
Frequent falls are often caused by weak muscles, a condition that frequently occurs when muscles gradually get weaker as people age. It affects strength and balance, making it more difficult to undertake daily activities.
The Council says creating a fall prevention program for an individual or a group is important, but only if those the program is meant to help feel that they’ve been part of the creation process.
Experts say when older adults feel knowledgeable and in control, they’re more likely to participate in exercises to help prevent falls.
Exercise, in turn, can reduce falls and improve the health and well-being of older adults, leaving them more confident and outgoing in their day-to-day activities with feelings of security, safety, and confidence in their physical abilities and limitations.