Alaska Health Fair is partnering with the State of Alaska to bring educational resources on fall prevention to all AHF health fairs this season!
Why fall prevention is so important?
- Falls are the #1 cause of serious injury requiring hospitalization among Alaskans age 55+ and a leading cause of death and loss of independence.
- Serious injury caused by falls is higher among women, Alaskan Natives, persons age 85+, and residents of the Mat-Su.
- Excessive alcohol consumption, use of multiple prescription medications, and other drug-use increases the risk of falls and fall-related injury.
- Falls are preventable.
Source: Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Alaska Injury Facts Report – 2018. Anchorage, Alaska: Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Public Health, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services; June 2018.
How to Prevent Falls?
Stay physically active. Regular exercise makes you stronger. Weight-bearing activities, such as walking or climbing stairs, may slow bone loss from osteoporosis. Lower-body strength exercises and balance exercises can help you prevent falls and avoid the disability that may result from falling.
Here are some fall prevention tips from Go4Life, an exercise ad physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging at National Institute of Health, designed to help you fit exercise and physical activity into your daily life:
- Have your eyes and hearing tested often. Always wear your glasses when you need them. If you have a hearing aid, be sure it fits well, and wear it.
- Find out about the side effects of any medicine you take. If a drug makes you sleepy or dizzy, tell your doctor or pharmacist.
- Get enough sleep. If you’re sleepy, you’re more likely to fall.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Even a small amount can affect balance and reflexes.
- Stand up slowly after eating, lying down, or sitting.
- Getting up too quickly can cause your blood pressure to drop, which can make you feel faint.
- Wear rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes that fully support your feet. Wearing only socks or shoes/slippers with smooth soles on stairs or floors without carpet can be unsafe.
Take a Quick Survey to Assess Your Risk of Falling
You will see your risk score immediately. Once you complete the survey, you will have an opportunity to enter sweepstakes for a chance to win $250 for a nonprofit organization of your choice.
Contributed by Dawn Groth, RN, Seniors Fall Prevention Program
Division of Public Health, Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Injury Prevention