Fall Prevention

ACMH Hospital and Life Armstrong are partnering to bring you this important message on fall prevention.

KEEPING YOU SAFE

Falls affect us all whether personally or someone we love or care about. Every second of every day an older adult falls. In 2015 alone, more than one in four older adults reported falling and more than 28,000 older adults died as a result of falls. That's 74 older adults every day. There are simple steps you can take to prevent falls and decrease falls risks. To combat this issue, ACMH is partnering with LIFE ARMSTRONG to launch an initiative which includes educational materials and resources to improve fall prevention.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT FALLS



Talk openly with your healthcare provider about fall risks & prevention.

Tell a provider right away if you fall, worry about falling, or feel unsteady. Have your doctor or pharmacist review all the medicines you take, even over-the-counter medicines. As you get older, the way medicines work in your body can change. Some medicines, or combinations of medicines, can make you sleepy or dizzy and can cause you to fall. Ask your provider about taking vitamin D supplements to improve bone, muscle, and nerve health.

Exercise to improve your balance and strength.
Exercises that improve balance and make your legs stronger, lower your chances of falling. It also helps you feel better and more confident. An example of this kind of exercise is Tai Chi. Lack of exercise leads to weakness and increases your chances of falling. Ask your doctor or healthcare provider about the best type of exercise program for you.

Have your eyes and feet checked.
Once a year, check with your eye doctor, and update your eyeglasses, if needed. You may  have a condition like glaucoma or cataracts that limits your vision. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling. Also, have your healthcare provider check your feet once a year. Discuss proper footwear, and ask whether seeing a foot specialist is advised.


CHECK YOUR RISK OF FALLING

Choose “Yes” or “No” for each statement below:

Yes (2) No (0)  -   I have fallen in the past year. People who have fallen once are likely to fall again.

Yes (2) No (0)  -   I use or have been advised to use a cane or walker to get around safely. People who have been advised to use a cane or walker may already be more likely to fall.

Yes (1) No (0)  -   Sometimes I feel unsteady when I am walking. Unsteadiness or needing support while walking are signs of poor balance.

Yes (1) No (0)  -   I steady myself by holding onto furniture when walking at home. This is also a sign of poor balance.

Yes (1) No (0)  -   I am worried about falling. People who are worried about falling are more likely to fall.

Yes (1) No (0)  -   I need to push with my hands to stand up from a chair. This is a sign of weak leg muscles, a major reason for falling.

Yes (1) No (0)  -   I have some trouble stepping up onto a curb. This is also a sign of weak leg muscles.

Yes (1) No (0)  -   I often have to rush to the toilet. Rushing to the bathroom, especially at night, increases your chance of falling.

Yes (1) No (0)  -   I have lost some feeling in my feet. Numbness in your feet can cause stumbles and lead to falls.

Yes (1) No (0)  -   I take medicine that sometimes makes me feel light-headed or more tired than usual.  Side effects from medicines can sometimes increase your chance of falling.

Yes (1) No (0)  -   I take medicine to help me sleep or improve my mood. These medicines can sometimes increase your chance of falling.

Yes (1) No (0)   I often feel sad or depressed. Symptoms of depression, such as not feeling well or feeling slowed down, are linked to falls.

 Add up the number of points for each “yes” answer. If you scored 4 points or more, you may be at risk for falling.
 


WE ARE HERE TO HELP:


LIFE ARMSTRONG COUNTY
Call 724-545-8000

ACMH REHABILITATION SERVICES
Call 724-543-8145 or visit www.acmh.org



MAKE YOUR HOME SAFER

There are things you can do to make your home safer. Review the following list for ideas.
  • Remove things you can trip over (like papers, books, clothes, and shoes) from stairs and places where you walk.
  • Remove small throw rugs or use double[1]sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping.
  • Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without using a step stool.
  • Have grab bars put in next to and inside the tub, and next to the toilet.
  • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
  • Improve the lighting in your home. As you get older, you need brighter lights to see well. Hang light-weight curtains or shades to reduce glare.
  • Have handrails and lights installed on all staircases.
  • Wear well-fitting shoes with good support inside and outside the house.