In honor of National Fall Prevention Awareness Day on September 22, 2020, Phelps Hospital, Northwell Health is committed to educating our community about preventing falls and improving your balance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of 4 older adults fall each year in the United States. Phelps wants to help you stay safe and physically active so you can improve your health and prevent future falls.
Prevent a fall with these 10 steps:
1. Annually check your vision and hearing. Update your prescription glasses when necessary, and if you have a hearing aid, be sure it fits properly, and you wear it.
2. Find a good exercise program. Look for a program to help build your balance, strength, and flexibility.
3. Get enough sleep. Exhaustion increases the likelihood that you may fall
4. Keep your home safe. Remove any tripping hazards, increase your lighting, and install grab bars in key areas around your home.
5. Limit your alcohol intake. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your balance and reflexes.
6. Regularly review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist. Be sure to take medications as directed by your healthcare provider and discuss any side effects (such as dizziness or sleepiness) that may increase your risk of falling.
7. Stand up slowly after eating, lying down, or sitting. Getting up too quickly can cause your blood pressure to drop, which can cause you to feel faint.
8. Talk to your family members. Discuss taking simple steps to stay safe and support fall prevention techniques.
9. Talk to your healthcare provider. Request an assessment of your risk of falling and share your history of any recent falls or balance issues.
10. Wear rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes that provide full support. Wearing socks or slippers with smooth soles can cause you to slip and fall.
Exercise to prevent falls and promote balance.
Regular exercise is key to preventing falls. Weight-bearing activities, such as walking or climbing stairs, may slow bone loss from osteoporosis. Lower body exercises can strengthen your legs and ankles, therefore improving your balance.
Choose a Fall Prevention Program that’s right for you.
Our free Fall Prevention Programs are recommended by the National Council on Aging and are proven to reduce your risk of falling.
A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls
We utilize practical strategies to reduce fear and increase activity levels by improving strength, balance, and flexibility. We teach participants to view falling as controllable, help set realistic goals to increase activity, and help change their environment to reduce fall risk factors. Our program includes eight two-hour sessions led by trained facilitators.
Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention
Our Tai Chi class will improve your balance, strength, stamina, stability, flexibility, and cognitive focus. We recommend beginners start with one-hour twice a week for a minimum of 8-12 weeks.
We understand that fall prevention and improving balance can be difficult. For more information on programs here at Phelps Hospital, please reach out to Ellen at (914) 366-3937, or email Vitality@northwell.edu.