By Shari Landry, Parkland Clayton Park
Member of Serving Seniors Alliance Cooperative
Did you know that in Nova Scotia, each day, two people are admitted to hospital due to fall-related accidents? Falls are the leading cause of injuries amongst seniors according to the Nova Scotia Health Authority. Falls cost Nova Scotians over $107 million every year due to hospital admissions and emergency department visits.
So, what can you do to prevent falls? Try these simple things:
• Keep moving. Being physically fit is key to preventing falls. With your doctor’s permission, consider activities like walking, tai chi, or gentle water workouts. Walk around your home on days when you do not have the option to be outside. And check with your doctor if you are afraid of falling – your practitioner can recommend safe programs. Consider working with a physiotherapist for a custom exercise program to improve your strength.
• Wear appropriate footwear. Slippery shoes, untied laces or open heeled slippers may cause a fall. Sock feet can be slippery, too. Wear proper fitting shoes with non-skid soles.
• Keep your feet healthy. Consider the health of the skin on your feet and your toenails. If you suffer from corns, callouses, or ingrown toenails, you may walk in a different way that might cause you to fall. Reach out to a footcare nurse who can visit you at home and keep your feet healthy.
• Look for tripping hazards in your home. This is the right time to remove anything that is a fall hazard. These include rugs, electrical cords, furniture legs that are too close to your walking path, and areas that need better lighting. Consider if you are safe on your stairs. Lifts are available for inside and outside your home. Or consider moving to an apartment where there are no stairs.
• Use safety devices. Make sure that your stairways have good handrails. Use a walker inside and outside – they really do work, and they give you a convenient seat if you need one. Put grab bars in your tub or shower. Bring in experts from companies that specialize in safety devices for a free consultation
• Finally, learn more about Falls Prevention. There will be a special event with exhibits and learning opportunities provided by Serving Seniors Alliance Cooperative.
Fall Prevention Awareness Day is Tuesday, November 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It will take place at Harding Medical at 163 Susie Lake Crescent in the Bayers Lake Industrial Park.
Games, prizes, and snacks will add fun to the home safety tips and free assessments by a physiotherapist. Foot care assessments will be available, too and you can learn how hearing affects your balance. Learn from industry experts on ways to prevent falls.
Please call 902 453 6900 to learn more and to RSVP to attend. See you there