May is Older Americans Month
Written by webadmin | May 20, 2014 | In The News
Each May, the nation celebrates Older Americans Month to recognize older persons for their contributions and provide information to help them stay healthy and active.This year’s focus is injury prevention, with the theme “Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.”
Did you know that falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults? About a third of those aged 65 years or better fall each year, resulting in costs of nearly $30 billion annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The Administration for Community Living has a handy sheet about preventing falls and other safety tips for seniors.
The National Council on Aging reports that many people think falls are a normal part of aging. The truth is, they’re not. Most falls can be prevented. On the NCOA web site, they address 10 myths about falls. A few of them are:
Myth 1: Falling happens to other people, not to me.
Reality: Many people think, “It won’t happen to me.” But the truth is that 1 in 3 older adults—about 12 million—fall every year in the U.S.
Myth 2: Falling is something normal that happens as you get older.
Reality: Falling is not a normal part of aging.Strength and balance exercises, managing your medications, having your vision checked and making your living environment safer are all steps you can take to prevent a fall.
Myth 3: If I limit my activity, I won’t fall.
Reality: Some people believe that the best way to prevent falls is to stay at home and limit activity. Not true. Performing physical activities will actually help you stay independent, as your strength and range of motion benefit from remaining active.Social activities are also good for your overall health.
Myth 4: As long as I stay at home, I can avoid falling.
Reality: Over half of all falls take place at home. Inspect your home for fall risks. Fix simple but serious hazards such as clutter, throw rugs, and poor lighting. Make simple home modifications, such as adding grab bars in the bathroom, a second handrail on stairs, and non-slip paint on outdoor steps.
The Home Safety Modification program at Independent Living, Inc. can help make adjustments at home to ensure safety. Grants may be available to offset costs, and an on-staff carpenter ensures correct installation. For information, call 608-274-7900 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.