Winter has settled in and it is one of the most dangerous seasons for slips and falls. Yet, even in good weather, it is estimated that one out of every four adults over the age of 65 falls each year.
For people over the age of 75, falling risk is higher and having one fall doubles the risk of having another. Winter ice and snow is one factor but the risk among the elderly is extensive. This includes everything from footwear choices, certain medications, to lack of exercise, according to an article in the blog Sixty and Me.
At the Brookhouse Home, we are very aware that falls are a risk factor for seniors and remain vigilant in our practice of fall awareness and prevention strategies. Although falls might be considered a normal part of aging, excessive falls can become a major problem, particularly because of the risk of severe injuries.
Fall prevention may sound simple in theory but may be challenging to implement. One way the Brookhouse Home has created more awareness and prevention is by encouraging residents to stay physically active and be aware of their own balance and mobility issues as best they can.
During the pandemic, when the residents could not get out and walk or move around more freely, Activities Director Marsha DiCesare started a “Sharing and Caring” group so the women could verbalize how they were feeling.
Marsha also implemented a new Dancercize program. “We have a large cross section of ages participating. Some ladies in their mid 90s dance while holding their walkers,” Marsha said. “It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter what age you are, if you love to dance you will dance as long as you’re able!”
In fact, researchers found a 31% reduction in falls and a 37% reduction in fall risk for those aged 65 and older when reviewing clinical trials on “dance-based mind-motor activities” from around the world. It also concluded there is a need for more high-quality trials on dance
Staying vigilant is about fall awareness and prevention remains key.
For more information, please go to National Council on Aging.