Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Aging today reminded Pennsylvanians of the preventive measures necessary to avoid falls, particularly among older adults.
“As adults get older, they are more vulnerable to falls that could end in life-changing consequences. However, falling is not an inevitable result of aging. Through practical lifestyle adjustments, prevention programs, exercise and community partnerships, falls among older adults can be substantially reduced,” said Secretary of Aging Robert Torres. “The Department of Aging is here to help older adults maintain a good quality of life by increasing awareness of this issue, providing educational programs and encouraging all Pennsylvanians to take steps to protect themselves and their older loved ones who may be at increased risk of suffering from falls.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging provides resources for older adults on how to assess their risk for falls and how to prevent them.
Here are tips to prevent falls:
Ask Your Doctor to:
- Evaluate your risk for falling
- Review your prescriptions and over the counter medications
- Evaluate your need for calcium or vitamin D supplements
- Review any issues that are causing you to experience periods of confusion or difficulty remembering
Make Your Home Safer:
- Get rid of things you could trip over in your home
- Add grab bars inside and outside your tub or shower and next to the toilet
- Put railings on both sides of stairs
- Make sure your home – inside and around the exterior – is well lit
- Participate in strength and balance exercises
- Eat a healthy balanced diet
- Have your eyes checked
- Have your hearing checked
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging offers a fall risk screening and prevention program to adults 50 years of age and older. Visit Healthy Steps for Older Adults to learn more.
Governor Tom Wolf presented a proclamation designating September 21-25 Falls Prevention Awareness Week in the commonwealth, which coincides with the nationwide commemoration by the National Council on Aging.
Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among people 65 and older in the commonwealth, accounting for 67.5% of fatal traumatic brain injuries, and resulting in 1,606 deaths and 57,727 hospitalizations in 2018. Older adults who experience a fall may face depression, loss of mobility and loss of functional independence.
Learn more about the various other programs offered by the department here