It’s commendable that Falls Prevention Awareness Week is one of fall’s first observations. This year, it’s September 18-24.

The activity continues through the weekend and following week. The event is observed across the country with workshops, fairs, and literature that provide information about the annual needless injuries, deaths, and hospitalization experienced by older adults who trip and/or fall.

Falls Prevention Awareness Week

St George Senior Citizens Center; St. George, Utah

1. It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn fall risks are simple to fix. A cord running across the floor, yard or walkway across the mall is an accident waiting to happen. Thinking about moving it in a minute is not as good as thinking of a way to place the cord safely and putting it away once the task is done. Everyone is susceptible to a fall, so it makes sense to minimize risks at every location.

2. There are multiple benefits to stopping by physical therapy booth during the 2017 Falls Prevention Awareness activities. Physical therapists can identify individual risks of falling by assessing a person’s gait and balance.

3. It’s common for people of any age to associate a coordination difficulty with heredity or dismiss it as an inconvenience. Why not use this event to find out how to reduce its chance of causing a fall? Act sooner rather than later and add to the quality of life and independence in later years.

4. Learn to use geriatric assistive devices like canes and walkers properly. Various muscle sets are required to handle them safely. Physical therapists offer advice to make the items convenient and helpful to use.

5. Proper balance matters. Take steps to improve balance at any age. Not only will it help you avoid falls, it will provide a safer landing to minimize injuries.

6. Why procrastinate about a strict program of daily balance training? Add balance techniques to an everyday routine. Then if you start to fall, your body will react automatically to stop or reduce the impact of the fall. Quick, easy exercises are available to strengthen leg stabilizers and improve neuromuscular function to keep you upright. Practice the routine while brushing your teeth, washing dishes, or checking the oil on the car.

7. Vestibular therapy uses exercises to reduce or eliminate vestibular situations like repetitious dizzy spells and difficulty balancing. Physical therapists develop a plan to improve arm and leg strength and muscle tone. Affected areas may not be restored, but the body and brain find ways to compensate for the damage. The result? Falling risks are dramatically reduced.

8. Certified Balance Trainers can develop individualized programs of physical therapy for patients with disabilities or injuries, with a desire to improve overall health, and those wanting to condition or strengthen their body.
The program emphasizes better balance, increased strength, and enhanced mobility. The lowered risk of falling improves the life of senior citizens and other individuals.

What a positive way to emphasize the importance of Falls Prevention Awareness Week!

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