As autumn begins, leaves will fall, but people shouldn’t. That’s the message of Falls Prevention Awareness Day, which Governor Tim Walz has proclaimed for Sept. 23, the first day of fall.
The Minnesota Board on Aging is teaming up with the National Council on Aging to make people aware that while falls are the leading cause of injury for older adults, they can be prevented.
“Falls are costly—in dollars and in quality of life—but falling is not an inevitable part of aging,” said Kari Benson, executive director of the Minnesota Board on Aging. “We have the power to prevent falls through practical lifestyle adjustments, movement and exercise and help from health care professionals.”
To reduce your risk of falling:
- Find a good balance or exercise program to build stability, strength and flexibility.
- Ask your health care provider to assess your risk of falling.
- Review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist and make sure side effects aren’t increasing your risk of falls.
- Get your vision and hearing checked annually.
- Keep your home safe by, for example, removing tripping hazards, using bath mats in the shower, installing grab bars and increasing lighting where needed.
Minnesota offers a variety of community-based programs to help people reduce their fear of falling, strengthen their muscles and improve their balance. For information about these programs, call the Senior LinkAge Line, 1-800-333-2433.