Fall prevention awareness is important for seniors

Sandra Buckingham

Special to Valley News

The 10th annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day was observed on Sept. 22 – the first day of fall. This event raised awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults as about one in three individuals over the age of 65 are at risk for a fall every year.

Falling at any age is never a pleasant experience, but as we age falls can have serious impacts on our health. Seniors who fall and fracture their hip have a 25 to 30 percent chance of dying in the following year; many cannot regain their prior level of independence and, overall, falls are the leading cause of death from injury among people 65 and older.

The good news is that many falls are preventable. That is why the staff at the Foundation for Senior Care is passionate about fall prevention. Through their Care Advocacy program, they offer in-home safety assessments to uncover fall hazards. They also partner with North County Fire Protection to identify older adults who have fallen or are at risk of falling.

Once fall risks in the home are identified they work with the senior to alleviate the risk and provide education on fall prevention. If home modifications, like ramps or grab bars, need to be installed, they work with their partners to put them in.

When the senior cannot afford the cost of the updates, the foundation is able to provide them at no cost. If walkers, shower chairs or other durable medical goods are needed they can loan them from their own in-house supply of durable medical goods.

Anyone who is concerned about a local senior can contact a Care Advocate at (760) 723-7570 or stop by and meet with them. There is never any charge to meet with the Care Advocates.

Other ways to prevent falls are to stay physically active and socially engaged. A combination of strong muscles and bones, and good balance will hold a senior in good stead. There are many types of exercise that will help them maintain body awareness – knowing where their body is in space (proprioception) and several programs that may be available through their health insurance are specifically geared toward seniors.

Joining in activities in your community will keep you stimulated and also connected with others, providing a support system if needed.

Volunteering may involve meeting new people, carrying items, climbing stairs, driving to different areas and more. All excellent activities for staying engaged and active.

The importance of bone health 

Bone health is instrumental to our overall health, quality of life and longevity.  As people age, bones lose calcium and other minerals.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 9 million adults have osteoporosis and more than 48 million have low bone mass, resulting in approximately 15 million fractures each year.

In addition, 50 percent of women (and 25 percent of men) over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis related fracture in their lifetime. In fact, a woman’s risk for an osteoporotic caused hip fracture is the same as her breast, ovarian and uterine cancer risk combined.

Aevum Wellness Center in Fallbrook offers a non-pharmaceutical alternative for osteoporosis prevention and treatment using state of the art technologies – bioDensityTM and Power Plate (R).

The bioDensityTM system can safely aid in increasing bone density by stimulating the body’s natural bone generation process. This proven safe, effective and efficient system stimulates major muscle groups and bones of the body and is geared to each user’s comfort level. Power Plate (R) equipment uses whole body vibration technology to stimulate the central nervous system resulting in improvements in circulation, balance and stability.

Sandra Buckingham is a registered yoga teacher, certified Silver Sneakers instructor and continuing education provider. She established and facilitates the Fallbrook Wellness Directory which includes the Foundation for Senior Care and Aevum Wellness and can be viewed at www.fallbrookwellnessdirectory.com/.

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