Fall and Injury Prevention

Overview

Falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits and home injuries. Each year, one out of three seniors falls. Many of those who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries that make it hard for them to live independently and could lead to nursing home placement. However, many falls are preventable. Taking simple steps to prevent falls can help you and those you love stay active and maintain independence.

What you can do

  • Get regular exercise – Walking, in combination with balance exercises such as tai chi, can increase strength and improve balance.
  • Review all medications with your doctors and pharmacist – Some medications, or combinations of medications – including over-the-counter and supplements – can make you feel dizzy and increase the risk of falls.
  • Get an eye exam at least once a year  Regular vision and eye glass checkups will detect vision problems that can lead to falls.
  • Improve home safety – Remove tripping hazards on steps and in walkways; add grab bars to showers/tubs/toilets; install railings on both sides of stairways next to steps; improve lighting in and around your home; keep items used most often within easy reach. Making these changes in your home can greatly reduce the chance of injury from falling.
  • Recognize signs of infection – Infections may lower blood pressure, making you lightheaded and dizzy. Urinary tract infections, blood infections and respiratory infections are common illnesses that may increase your risk of falling. Call your doctor at the first sign of illness.

Stepping On

Maintaining one’s health and independence are important parts of healthy aging. Falls and fall injuries are more common than strokes and can result in health problems that are just as serious. Stepping On is a well researched fall and injury prevention program. The group program meets for two hours a week for seven weeks. Each session includes simple and fun balance and strength training. The program is free.

Watch our video, Planning for an Unplanned Trip, to learn more about our program.

Tai Chi for Arthritis

Tai chi movements are graceful and gentle in nature. With regular practice, tai chi improves balance by strengthening muscles and co-ordination. At the same time, it strengthens the mind, thereby improving calmness and confidence in not falling. Thus, both physically and mentally, tai chi is an extremely effective exercise for fall prevention.

Tai Chi for Arthritis is an eight week program consisting of twice-weekly sessions consisting of easy and enjoyable tai chi movements. This program has been proven to relive pain, maintain and improve health, reduce one’s risk of falling and increase their confidence to prevent future falls. The program is free. To find out more information regarding this program contact (516) 562-1579.

(516) 881-7000

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Learn how the Office of Community & Public Health can help you get on the path to better health.