Home > News List > Falls Prevention Awareness

Falls Prevention Awareness

Falls Prevention Awareness

September 22, 2020

Falls Prevention Awareness Day occurs on the same day when the astronomical start of fall begins, which is tomorrow – September 22. Falls are a very serious matter that we all need to be paying attention to. It’s the leading cause of injury-related emergency department visits and the day is used to address this public health issue. Falls can be more dangerous than they might seem. They can cause bruising, hip fractures, and head injuries, and these accidents have the potential to be fatal, especially for the elderly which means that they deserve extra attention to make sure they’re protected.

This annual awareness event is sponsored by the National Council on Aging. The Cedar Rapids Fire Department wants to remind the community about the importance of fire and fall prevention for older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of death from unintentional injury in the home in the state of Iowa. In Cedar Rapids, about 49 percent of all fire calls for service are medical calls, and of many of those calls are the result of falls. In fact, in 2019, firefighters responded to 1,364 incidents involving falls.

The Fire Department offers the following advice for older adults to stay safe and prevent a fall-related injury:

• Find a balance and exercise program to build balance, strength and flexibility. Area aging services organizations can suggest available programs.

• Talk to a health care provider to assess an individual’s risk of falling and share about any recent falls, no matter how small.

• Review all medications regularly with the doctor or pharmacist. Sometimes medication side effects can increase the risk of falling.

• Have vision and hearing checked annually because both effect balance.

• Keep an older adult’s home safe by removing trip hazards, having good lighting and making sure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms work.

• An older adult’s fall effects the whole family, not just the senior citizen, so enlist family support to take simple preventative steps to stay safe and remain independent.

The Cedar Rapids Fire Department provides a variety of services for older adults, including fall and fire prevention education to help seniors remain safe in their home as long as possible. A Fire Department home safety inspection can help identify risks and suggest strategies for older adults, including checking and installing working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

Citizens age 65 and older are encouraged to contact the Fire Department’s Public Education Division at (319) 286-5166 to learn more about fall prevention programs and home safety inspections.

© 2020  Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 101 First Street SE

Powered By Revize Login