For our nation’s aging population, falling is a serious and all too common issue. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), “falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans.” A full 25 percent of adults who are 65 or older falls at least once each year, and there are more than 2.8 million fall-related injuries treated in emergency departments nationwide annually. What’s worse, every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall.

That’s why the NCOA started promoting Fall Prevention Awareness Day on September 22, and this year marks the event’s 10th anniversary. This event is designed to raise awareness of the risks and consequences of falls through local events and screening activities.

There are some things that can be done to prevent falling. Here are a few suggestions to ensure your safety and health.

Find an exercise program for older adults

Building and maintaining strength through exercise is the most important thing one can do to prevent falls. And the exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous, in fact, it’s preferable that the exercise you get doesn’t unnecessarily stress your body. In many communities, particularly ones where the population is older, there are gyms, community centers and other resources where seniors can turn to find programs that are appropriate for their physical abilities and conditions.

Review your medications with your doctor

Some falls come as a result when medications have side effects such as dizziness or nausea. And sometimes medications just don’t work well together. Regularly talk with a doctor about what medications you’re taking and any side effects you may be experiencing.

Get your vision and hearing checked

Our sight and sound help us to maintain our balance, and the risk of falling is greater when we can’t see correctly or our inner equilibrium is off. Be sure to get these checked, get your prescription updated and make use of a hearing aid if necessary.

Make your home safer

We baby-proof our homes when we have a new born, but we don’t do nearly enough to ensure our homes are safe for our elderly. Loose carpeting, bumps in the floor, poorly placed or unstable furniture can all be causes of falls. Examine your house for potential dangers and make sure they get fixed in a timely manner.

If you’d like to participate in Fall Prevention Awareness Day, NCOA is holding two major social media events. Follow the National Council on Aging on Facebook and Twitter, and join them for our annual #FPAD2017 Twitter chat on Sept. 14 @ 2:30 p.m. ET. They will also host a Facebook Live broadcast on Sept. 22 @ 3:00 p.m. ET.

And if you believe you are at risk of falling, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us. We, at Pain and Spine Specialists of Maryland, are dedicated to providing the highest quality of patient care and services and truly have each individual’s comfort in mind. We can assess your risk as well as provide some support to ensure you are safe.

Are You Or A Loved One Are Suffering From Chronic Pain?

Be sure to schedule an appointment with one of our pain specialists. We treat many conditions and injuries of the back, neck, and spine by taking a whole-person approach to care. Our focus is getting you back on your feet in good health. In Maryland call 301.703.8767, or call 724.603.3560 in Pennsylvania to make an appointment.

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