Aging Well

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Take Steps to Stay on Your Feet

Did you know that one of every four people 65 and older falls each year?

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for people 65-plus.

In North Dakota, 559 fall-related deaths occurred among adults 65 and older from 2009 through 2014, with an average of 93 deaths per year.

 

Falls threaten older adults’ safety and independence, and generate enormous economic and personal costs. However, falls are largely preventable. Here are six easy steps to help you reduce falls:

  1. Find a good balance and exercise program that builds balance, strength and flexibility.
  2. Talk to your health-care provider and ask for an assessment of your risk of falling.
  3. Review your medications with your pharmacist or doctor. Make sure side effects aren’t increasing your risk of falling.
  4. Get your vision checked annually and update your eyeglasses as needed.
  5. Keep your home safe. Increase lighting, remove tripping hazards, install grab bars and make stairs safe.
  6. Assess your footwear for safety. Look for supportive shoes, a good fit, a sole that grips, and a heel that is stable and grips.

Stepping On, a fall-prevention program offered by the NDSU Extension Service, is designed for older adults who have fallen or have a fear of falling.

The workshop, offered once a week for seven weeks, empowers older adults to adopt healthy behaviors that reduce the risk of falls.

Contact your county office of NDSU Extension for more information about fall prevention or the Stepping On program.

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