Several ways to help prevent falls

Saturday was the first day of fall. It was also the Washington State Falls Prevention Day. While no one will prevent the change of seasons, everyone can learn more about the serious problem of preventing falls. One out of three adults age 65 and older falls. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fracture and head traumas.

In 2010, the direct medical costs of falls, adjusted for inflation, was $30.0 billion. (Centers for Disease Control). Falls are not inevitable. There are several things that can have a great impact:

One, probably most important, is to exercise regularly. Many senior centers, gyms, and the Internet have exercise programs that are helpful. Unfortunately, as people fear falling they become less active.

Two, have a pharmacist review medications that can cause dizziness or drowsiness.

Three, have your vision checked once a year.

Four, make your home safer by reducing trip hazards. Remove throw rugs and clutter, add grab bars and railings and improve lighting. It is never too soon to implement these activities for you and your family members. Enjoy a fall-free fall.

Tim Mierau

Snohomish County Falls Prevention Coalition

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