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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 10, 2018
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512

AN INJURY FROM A FALL CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE!


NEW CITY, NY - -
Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage older adults to learn how to prevent falls.

"Falls aren't something that just happens when you age, there are proven ways to reduce falls. There are many reasons why people fall; the good news is that most falls can be prevented," said Dr. Ruppert.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), each year millions of older people, those 65 and older, fall. In fact, more than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.

Falls, with or without injury, can change one's life in an instant. Many older adults fear falling and, as a result, limit their activities. Falls are a threat to the health of older adults and can reduce their ability to remain independent.

Follow these simple tips to help prevent a fall:

  • Get up slowly; before moving forward, take a second to balance yourself, and count to ten before you take a step.
  • Wear sturdy, well-fitting shoes with low heels and non-slip soles.
  • See an eye specialist once a year. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling.
  • Review your medications annually with your doctor. Some medications have side effects that can cause dizziness.
  • Increase physical activity – regular exercise increases balance and strength.
  • Remove tripping hazards like throw rugs and clutter in hallways.
  • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
  • Have grab bars installed next to the toilet and in the tub or shower.
  • Have handrails on both sides of stairways and improve lighting in your entire home.
  • Ask for help if you need to reach items on high shelves or use a "reacher" (a device to help you), rather than stand on unsteady chairs or ladders. Keep items you use the most within reach. 
  • Sit down to put your pants on.

Medicare covers fall risk assessment and referrals (called STEADI – Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries www.cdc.gov/steadi). Ask your doctor about this at your next check-up.

To learn more about preventing falls visit www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/index.html.