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Fall and Injury Prevention

Adult Fall and Injury Prevention

Falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits and home injuries. Each year, one out of three seniors suffers moderate to severe injuries, leading to nursing home placement. Many falls, however, are preventable. Taking simple steps to prevent falls can help you and those you love stay active and maintain independence.

  • Falls and fall injuries are more common than strokes and can result in health problems that are just as serious.
  • Falls are the leading cause of death among all types of injury in adults 65 years and older.
  • Most falls and fall-related injuries occur in the home.
  • Every year, one third of all adults 65 years and older experience a fall. Half of all adults 80 years and older experience a fall.
  • Of those adults who fall, half will fall again within the year.
  • Many people who fall can develop a fear of falling, even if they are not injured. This fear may cause them to limit their activities, leading to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, which in turn increases their actual risk of falling.
  • One out of 10 falls among older adults results in a serious injury, such as a hip fracture or head injury that requires hospitalization.

What You Can Do

  • Get regular exercise. Walking and doing balance exercises such as Tai Chi can increase strength and improve balance.
  • Review medications with your doctors and pharmacist.
    This can reduce medication side effects and interactions that increase the risk of falls.
  • Get an eye exam at least once a year.
    Regular vision and eye glass checkups will detect vision problems that can lead to falls.
  • Improve home safety: Remove tripping hazards; add grab bars to showers/tubs/toilets; install railings next to steps; improve lighting in and around your home. Making these changes in your home can greatly reduce the chance of injury from falling. 

 

Stepping On

Maintaining one’s health and independence are important parts of healthy aging. Falls and fall injuries are more common than strokes and can result in health problems that are just as serious. Stepping On is a well researched fall and injury prevention program. The group program meets for two hours a week for seven weeks. Each session includes simple and fun balance and strength training. The program is free.

 During the course of the program you will learn:

  • Simple and fun balance and strength training
  • The role vision plays in helping you maintain balance
  • How medications can contribute to falls
  • Ways to stay safe when out and about in your community
  • What to look for in safe footwear
  • How to check your home for safety

Who leads the program?

The program is co-led by a health professional and a community member. North Shore-LIJ experts will also assist by providing information on exercise, vision, safety and medications.

 What are the benefits of Stepping On?

  • Maintain your independence
  • Learn to step outside your home with confidence
  • Learn with people your own age
  • Become more aware of fall hazards and learn how your fall risk can be reduced
  • Hear about the most up-to-date information on fall and injury prevention
  • Help others by sharing what has worked for you

Who can benefit most from Stepping On?

Anyone who:

  • Is 65 years and older
  • Has had a fall in the past year or is fearful of falling
  • Is living in a home or apartment
  • Is not suffering from dementia

For more information about Stepping On or to register for a class, please contact:
The Office of Community and Public Health at (516) 881-7000.

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