NDSU Extension - Sargent County

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What If I Fall?

What If I Fall?  9/22/17Listening to the radio, I heard Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood singing a love song together.  In that song, one of Carrie’s lyrics is, “What if I fall?”

Keith sings back to her, “I won’t let you fall.” 

Being a love song, those lyrics aren’t literally about “falling down,” but they did bring to mind a friend of mine who has recently had a couple of falls in her own home. 

Falls in one’s own home are not uncommon.  In fact, one of every four people 65 and older falls each year, and 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.  They also generate enormous economic and personal costs.

The good news is that falls are largely preventable.  Six to-do items that help us reduce falls are:

  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.

NDSU Extension offers “Stepping On” as a fall-prevention program.  It is a seven-week program designed for older adults who have fallen or who have a fear of falling.  Meeting once per week, the workshop empowers the participants to adopt healthy behaviors that reduce the risk of falls.

Contact your county office of NDSU Extension if you have questions about this article or want more information about fall prevention or the Stepping On program.

Source:  https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/aging/posts/take-steps-to-stay-on-your-feet

Photo Source:  https://pixabay.com/en/walking-old-people-coat-age-park-69708/  (downloaded 9/26/17)


 

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