Health District, Nevada Goes Fall Free Coalition designate Sept. 20-26 Fall Prevention Awareness Week
LAS VEGAS – If an older adult suffers a fall, the resulting injury can mean a loss of independence and a serious impact on quality of life. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in older adults; each year, one in three older adults will fall and every 15 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury. Falls are preventable and they are not an inevitable part of aging, according to the National Council on Aging. Visit http://www.gethealthyclarkcounty.org/be-safe/senior-fall-statistics.php for statistics and information about injuries related to falls among seniors.
The Southern Nevada Health District’s Nevada Goes Fall Free Coalition partners will offer free fall risk assessments designed to determine if participants are at a high risk for falls:
1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 23
Free Fall Risk Screenings and Memory Screenings
Cleveland Clinic/Lour Ruvo Center for Brain Health
888 W. Bonneville Ave., Las Vegas 89106
Register online: www.keepmemoryalive.org/screen15
For information, contact (702) 483-6032
In addition, ongoing ‘Stepping On” classes designed to provide appropriate exercise, and to provide ways to prevent falls at home and in the community are available at the following locations:
Centennial Hills Active Adult Center
6601 N. Buffalo Drive, Las Vegas 89131
Information: (702) 229-1702
Dignity Health’s Women’s Care Center of Excellence
2651 Paseo Verde, Ste. 180, Henderson, 89074
Information: (702) 616-4901
Of the adults who suffer a fall, fewer than half will discuss the problem with a health care provider. In 2013, emergency departments treated 2.5 million episodes of non-fatal falls in older adults and more than 730,000 of these patients were hospitalized. Many people who fall, even if they are not injured, develop a fear of falling, which can cause them to limit their activities. This can lead to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness which, in turn, can actually increase the risk of falling.
Exercise regularly to improve bone health, balance and coordination.
Make homes safer by removing items from stairs/walkways to prevent tripping, avoid using step stools, use non-slip mats in tubs and showers, improve lighting, remove throw rugs or put double-sided tape on them to prevent slipping, install handrails/lights on staircases.
Consult a healthcare provider to review medications as some can cause lightheadedness or drowsiness and increase the risk of falling.
Have a vision check because poor vision or incorrect lens prescriptions can increase the risk of falls.