Promoting Excellence in Maryland's Trauma Care

A collaborative statewide approach to address issues
related to all aspects of trauma care delivery

The Importance of Fall Prevention

The first day of Autumn is nationally recognized as Falls Prevention Awareness Day. Fall prevention is very important to me.  March 2010, I lost my 63 year old father, who was on a blood thinner, to a preventable fall.  This is a serious issue in the aging community, as it is the leading cause of injury in older adults. Falls can lead to hospitalization or even death, so it is important to try to prevent falling as much as possible.  It’s important to understand the risks of falling and what one can do to prevent it. To avoid possible injury, there are three key steps you should take to help prevent falling.

1 .Talk to a Doctor- As with any health issue, your doctor is a  valuable resource. Your doctor will discuss your medication, previous falls, and other health conditions with you. The doctor will address if there are any health conditions that might cause you to fall in the future, such as eye or ear disorder.

2. Tidy Up and Lighten Up Your Home – It’s especially important to keep your home prepared for fall prevention. You can’t avoid what you can’t see, so keeping a tidy home is very important. By some simple preventative cleaning, you can easily remove potential tripping hazards. Some other preventative measures you can take are installing handrails, adding a raised toilet seat, putting up grab bars, and adding nonslip treads to bare steps. Every individual will have different needs, so it’s important to evaluate the situation and prepare accordingly. Your family and additional resources can help with tasks like tidying up, so discuss these concerns with them or professionals as well.

3. Keep Moving -Finally, physical exercise goes a long way when it comes to fall prevention. With your doctor’s approval, join a walking group, water aerobics, or tai chi or Stepping On. These types of exercises are gentle light exercises that can help increase strength, balance, and flexibility. By ignoring physical activity, health can decline a lot more rapidly, and falling will be much more likely. It’s important to not let the fear of falling rule your life. While fall prevention is important, so is living a happy and active life.

With UM Capital Region Health Trauma Services, fall prevention program, you can keep up with your health while aging and still enjoying your independence. If you live in or around PG county and want more information on how we can help you remain fall free, call us at 301-618-2248 or visit our website. Outside of PG County you can contact your area Trauma Center. We are always happy to answer any questions or concerns, so contact us to talk more!

Donica Thompson
Injury Prevention & Outreach Coordinator
UM Capital Region Health

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