This time of year, many of us head to a place where we can see the splendor of Autumn. A place to witness changes in the colors of the landscape. Did you know that those brilliant colors of red, orange, and yellow have been under the green the whole time? As the leaves produce less chlorophyll due to colder weather and less sunlight, the green fades and reveals those beautiful fall colors. Be sure to get out and enjoy the Fall season but be careful of the fall.
According to the CDC, unintentional falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injury to all age groups and the leading cause of injury death for people 65 and older. No one should underestimate these injuries since they can lead to consequences like physical injuries, medical costs, emotional tolls, and the loss of independence. Falling does not have to be inevitable. Adults and family members should understand behaviors or factors that put people at risk of falling.
Common Causes of Fall Injuries
- Muscle weakness and lack of balance
- Vision changes or loss
- Chronic health conditions such as arthritis, nervous system disorders, and diabetes
- Use of certain medications, especially those that cause dizziness or drowsiness
- Foot pain or inadequate footwear
- Poor lighting, slippery floors, uneven surfaces
- Clutter and tripping hazards both inside and outside the home
- Alcohol use
- Lack of handrails and grab bars
- Improper use of ladders, stepstools, and chairs
- Lack of supervision of children
Prevention Strategies that Reduce the Risks
- Visit a doctor to evaluate and discuss falling risk factors
- Have a doctor or pharmacist review all medications currently being taken
- Visit the eye doctor and update eyeglasses or contact prescriptions
- Continue or start strength and balance exercises
- Safeguard the home: Clear tripping hazards, increase lighting inside and outside, secure stair handrails, install grab bars, and use non-slip floor coverings
- Wear proper fitting, non-slip footwear
- Use assistive devices like canes and walkers to help with mobility
Keep your safety a top priority while enjoying the fall season. By taking precautions and being mindful of your surroundings, you can make the most of this beautiful season without any unnecessary falls.