March 1, 2019

Keeping STEADI to Prevent Falls

Have you ever tripped UP the stairs?  Did you know that slipping down to a seating position in a chair is in fact defined as a FALL? What starts out as merely stumbling can lead to serious falls without warning.

Falls can range from very serious, to those resulting in simple bruises and scrapes and mostly hurtful to our pride. So what can you do to prevent falls and why are they so dangerous for senior adults?

As we age, our gait becomes less strong and we are more prone to falling.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, emergency departments treat more than 3 million senior adults every year for fall injuries.   In addition:

  • Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
  • More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways.
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

The more a fall occurs, the greater the chance of another falling incident.  This increased the risk of serious injury or even death especially in older adults.

The UAMS Centers on Aging are currently providing a Fall Prevention program around the state using STEADI resources.  This program includes information for home safety, strengthening exercises, maintaining independence, ways to help a loved one prevent falls as well as local resources to assist with these efforts. Medications may also play a role in fall risk.

For more information about the STEADI program, visit our websites at uamscaregiving.org or the uamscentersonaging.org and click on location near you in Arkansas for contact information. Also visit the event calendar seen here for programs already scheduled.

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