Fall Prevention Awareness Day

walking feet

September 22, the first day of fall, is as good a time as any to discuss fall prevention.

Fall Prevention Awareness Day, sponsored by the National Council on Aging, aims to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults, and at McLaren Macomb, Susan Schafer, RN, MSN, trauma program manager, devotes herself to this preventative education.

"Falls from a standing position have the potential to cause life-threatening injuries," Schafer said. "Anyone is at risk for falls, but we see a higher occurrence in older adults, who may have become more inactive in recent years."

These injuries can include broken hips and other bones, spinal fractures and brain bleeds.

"Immobility contributes to falls," she said. "Incorporating an exercise routine, coupled with best practices to prevent falls, will go a long way in keeping those at-risk safe."

Get active "It doesn't mean they have to go get a gym membership, but walking around, even with assistance, will help with exercise."

Designate walkways "Keep walkways clear, free of rugs and clutter and make sure they are well-lit."

Proper shoes "When you wear house slippers, avoid the slip-in slippers and go with a style that covers the heel. If you must go outside in icy conditions, wear shoes with functional treads."

Dehydration "Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can stave off feelings of lightheadedness and dizzy spells."

Talk to your physician "If you think you're at risk for a fall, don't keep it a secret. There's nothing to be embarrassed about. And be sure to discuss all of your medications with your physician and pharmacist so you don't experience any side effects when certain medications are mixed."

To inquire about fall prevention education, call McLaren Macomb Trauma Services at (586) 493-3814.