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Preventing Falls With Evidence-Based Initiatives

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.

...continue reading "Older Adult Falls—Costly But Not Inevitable: Health Affairs Blog"

by Jeff Minerd, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today 

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.

Fall Prevention

...continue reading "USPSTF: Exercise Best for Preventing Falls – updated recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)"

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) - By: Rosie Nguyen  Posted: 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.

...continue reading "SLC Fire’s fall prevention efforts leads to fewer emergency calls for senior citizens: Good4Utah"

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.

2. Discuss their current health conditions.

...continue reading "6 Steps to Reducing Falls from the National Council on Aging"

Falls can result in hip fractures, broken bones, and head injuries.

Even falls without a major injury can cause an older adult to become fearful or depressed, making it difficult for them to stay active.

The good news about falls is that most of them can be prevented. The key is to know where to look. Here are some common factors that can lead to a fall:

...continue reading "5 Factors that can lead to a fall from the National Council on Aging"

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.

...continue reading "Deaths from Falls Among Persons Aged 65+ Years — Statistics from the CDC"

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.

...continue reading "Fall Prevention – Take Action from the Utah Commission on Aging"

Yoga and Stretching Exercises

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.

2 older women doing a buddy stretch

Buddy Stretch

older woman doing calf stretch

Calf

older man doing hip stretch

Hip

older woman doing standing thigh stretch with a chair

Thigh (Standing)

thigh exercise on the floor

Thigh (Floor)

older woman doing a back of leg stretch on a bench

Back of Leg

woman doing back of leg stretch on the floor

Back of Leg (Floor)

older woman doing ankle stretch

Ankle

older woman doing back exercise in a chair

Back 2

older man doing a back stretch

Back 1

older woman doing a chest stretch

Chest

older woman doing a shoulder and upper arm stretch with towel

Shoulder and Upper Arm

older man doing a shoulder stretch

Shoulder

woman doing a next stretch

Neck

older woman getting up from the floor

Getting Up from the Floor

woman getting down on the floor

Getting Down on the Floor

Icon: Safety

SAFETY

If you’ve had hip or back surgery, talk with your doctor before doing lower-back flexibility exercises.

Progressing

As you become more flexible, try reaching farther in each exercise. But don’t go so far that it hurts.

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.

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SAFETY

Have a sturdy chair or a person nearby to hold on to if you feel unsteady.

Progressing

As you progress in your exercise routine, try adding the following challenges to help your balance even more:

  • Start by holding on to a sturdy chair with both hands for support.
  • When you are able, try holding on to the chair with only one hand.
  • With time, hold on with only one finger, then with no hands at all.
  • If you are really steady on your feet, try doing the balance exercises with your eyes closed.

 

Upper Body Exercises and Lower Body Exercises

Try to do strength exercises for all of your major muscle groups on 2 or more days per week for 30-minute sessions each, but don’t exercise the same muscle group on any 2 days in a row.

woman doing seated row with band

Seated Row with Resistance Band

woman doing chair dips

Chair Dip

arm curl with resistance bands

Arm Curl with Resistance Band

man doing wall push ups

Wall Push-Up

arm curl

Arm Curl

woman doing side arm raise

Side Arm Raise

man doing front arm raise

Front Arm Raise

woman doing overhead arm raise

Overhead Arm Raise

wrist curl

Wrist Curl

Hand holding a tennis ball

Hand Grip

woman doing stages of elbow extension

Elbow Extension

woman doing toe stand exercise

Toe Stand

man doing stages of chair stand exercise

Chair Stand

woman doing leg straightening exercise

Leg Straightening

man doing knee curl

Knee Curl

woman doing side leg raise

Side Leg Raise

man doing back leg raise

Back Leg Raise

Icon: Safety

SAFETY

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.

Progressing

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.