Initiatives designed to prevent falls employ a variety of different strategies. Some, such as falls risk assessment and medication management, occur in clinical settings with the help of health care providers.
Others, such as exercise and mitigation of fall hazards in the home, occur in nonclinical settings and may involve nontraditional providers such as community health workers. Combined, these efforts can help provide a comprehensive approach to address the risk and impact of falls in older adults.
Examples of effective exercise interventions evaluated in the clinical trials included supervised individual and group exercise classes, physical therapy, functional training, resistance training, and endurance training. The majority of trials, however, included group exercise classes.
SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) - By:Rosie NguyenPosted: Apr 24, 2018 05:12 PM MDT
Falls from senior citizens can make up to 60 percent of emergency calls in Salt Lake City. Since the Salt Lake City Fire Department launched a fall prevention initiative with other agencies, they've seen the number of emergency calls for falls go down.
Three years ago, the Salt Lake City Fire Department partnered with other fire departments, hospitals, insurance provides, state and county health departments to form the Utah Falls Prevention Coalition (UFPC). The coalition tracks and evaluates falls and risks to educate seniors about safety and fall prevention.
Here are six easy steps you can take today to help your older loved one reduce their risk of a fall:
1. Enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe.
Ask your older loved one if they’re concerned about falling. Many older adults recognize that falling is a risk, but they believe it won’t happen to them or they won’t get hurt—even if they’ve already fallen in the past. A good place to start is by sharing NCOA’s Debunking the Myths of Older Adult Falls. If they’re concerned about falling, dizziness, or balance, suggest that they discuss it with their health care provider who can assess their risk and suggest programs or services that could help.
Deaths from unintentional injuries are the seventh leading cause of death among older adults (1), and falls account for the largest percentage of those deaths.
As the population of persons aged 65+ years in the United States, increases, the rising number of deaths from falls in this age group can be addressed by screening for fall risk and intervening to address modifiable risk factors such as polypharmacy or gait, strength, and balance issues.
Approximately one in four U.S. residents aged 65+ years (older adults) report falling each year, and fall-related emergency department visits are estimated at approximately 3 million per year.
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death and hospitalizations in Utahns age 65 and older.
Consequences from a fall can severely limit one’s ability to live independently. Older adults who fall once are twice as likely as their peers to fall again. Despite these statistics, falls do not need to be an inevitable part of aging.
Research has shown that many falls can be prevented. Three major strategies to reduce fall risks are keeping your home safe, managing your medication, and performing regular strength and balance exercises.
The section below provides ideas for individuals, family members, and caregivers to address major fall risks and safety tips for moving about outside the home.
Do each stretching exercise 3 to 5 times at each session. Slowly and smoothly stretch into the desired position, as far as possible without pain. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. Relax, breathe, then repeat, trying to stretch farther.
You can do balance exercises almost anytime, anywhere, and as often as you like.
Having good balance is important for many everyday activities, such as going up and down the stairs. It also helps you walk safely and avoid tripping and falling over objects in your way. Also try lower-body strength exercises because they can help improve your balance.
Don’t hold your breath during strength exercises. Holding your breath while straining can cause changes in blood pressure. Breathe in slowly through your nose and breathe out slowly through your mouth.
Gradually increase the amount of weight you use to build strength. Start out with a weight you can lift only 8 times. Use that weight until you can lift it easily 10 to 15 times. When you can do 2 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions easily, add more weight so that, again, you can lift it only 8 times. Repeat until you reach your goal.