Fall is just around the corner, but falls shouldn’t be just around the corner for older adults. That’s why MOSAIC Physical Therapy is joining forces with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the Falls Free® Coalition to celebrate Falls Prevention Awareness Day on Sept. 23, the first day of Fall.
While falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injury for people 65 years of age and older, they are not an inevitable part of aging. This year’s Fall Prevention Awareness Day theme, Take a Stand to Prevent Falls, seeks to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injury among older adults.
One in three adults age 65 and older fall each year, and one in five of these falls results in a serious injury according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Direct medical costs for fall injuries total over $28 billion annually.
Studies show that a combination of behavior changes can significantly reduce falls among older adults. Experts recommend:
- Participating in a physical activity regimen with balance, strength training, and flexibility components.
- Consulting with a health professional about getting a fall risk assessment.
- Having medications reviewed periodically.
- Getting eyes and ears checked annually.
- Making sure the home environment is safe and supportive.
The recent United States of Aging Survey polled older adults to find out about how they are preparing for their later years. It found that more than half of seniors questioned said they would be interested in the expansion of community-based health promotion programs, including falls prevention classes.
At senior centers and other community-based organizations across the United States, programs like A Matter of Balance, Tai Chi, and Stepping On help older adults gain strength, improve balance, and build confidence to help them live healthier lives and preserve their independence.
At MOSAIC Physical Therapy, seniors are invited to schedule an evaluation to determine fall risk. During the evaluation, a Doctor of Physical Therapy will perform a thorough examination to assess risk and will then educate the client on steps he or she can take to reduce fall risk. To participate, call the clinic at 425.673.5220 to schedule an evaluation.