Falls Prevention Awareness Day among older adults

MYRTLE BEACH, SC – In observation of National Fall Prevention Awareness Day, September 22, The Trauma Association of South Carolina (TASC) and Grand Strand Medical Center are joining together to take proactive steps to prevent falls among seniors.

Did you know two out of every ten trauma admissions among people 65 and older are due to fall-related injuries? While falls have many contributing factors including age, gender, history or falling, prior health conditions, physical limitations, environment, medications and alcohol use, falling is not a natural part of aging and most falls can be prevented.

“We need to raise awareness of the many preventive measures that can be taken to keep our seniors safe,” said Alison Burns, BSN, RN, CEN, President of TASC and Director of Trauma Services at Grand Strand Medical Center. In 2013, there were 46,981 fall-related inpatient and emergency department discharges in South Carolina and 476 of those patients died due to their injuries. The total inpatient and emergency department charges averages over $7 million per year alone.

Throughout the state, trauma centers will be celebrating Falls Prevention Awareness Day,  September 22, by providing information on how to prevent older adult falls.

Studies show that a combination of interventions can significantly reduce falls among older adults. TASC recommends:

  • Installing grab bars and handrails throughout your home as needed.
  • Considering a medical alert monitoring system that offers a fall detector.
  • Turning on lights, even if it wakes others. Many falls occur in the evenings when no lights are on.
  • Slowing down. Many falls could be avoided by taking your time
  • Mixing alcohol and some medication can be dangerous. Medication side effects, such as drowsiness, may be increased with alcohol.
  • Carrying a cordless phone or cell phone with you at all times, in case of an emergency.
  • Getting rid of throw rugs and low lying furniture because peripheral vision decreases with age.
  • Using a walking assist device, if needed

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