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Did you know?

Every day in New York State, two older adults die from a fall. After falling, 140 older adults are hospitalized and 223 are treated and released from an emergency department. About 60 percent of older adults don't go home after a fall. Instead, they're usually transferred to a rehab center or a nursing home. That compromises their independence and, of course, their confidence.

The good news is that most falls can be prevented once you identify and modify your risk factors. Here's how you can protect yourself from fall-related injuries. 


Identify and Modify Risks

Falls can happen under any circumstances and in many settings. Most falls tend to occur at home and on dry level surfaces in places and circumstances you would never consider fall risks. Falls are more likely to occur in living areas, garages, outdoor spaces and bedrooms. The most severe fall-related injuries occur in bathrooms, kitchens and any area with stairs and steps.

These five tips will help reduce your risk and help prevent fall-related injuries.

Tip 1: Schedule Annual Checkups

  • Visit your health care provider for your annual checkup and discuss any fall risk factors or concerns you may have.
  • Go to a specialist for a vision exam at least once a year and get a hearing assessment every two years.
  • Talk to your health care provider or a pharmacist to ensure the medications you're taking are appropriate. Make sure you're taking the right doses and there are no interactions between each other and over time.


Tip 2: Stay Aware 

Be aware of your surroundings and address any fall risk factors. Make sure you have proper lighting, particularly by any steps or stairs. Pay attention to your hallways.

If you get up in the middle of the night, turn on the light. Or maybe have sensor lights that will go on automatically. That way, you have some light so you don't trip and fall while trying to go to the bathroom.



Tip 3: Avoid Clutter

Make sure there's no clutter on the tables or the floor. Don’t keep shoes or slippers by your bed. When you’re getting up in the middle of the night, it’s easy to trip over your shoes and fall.



Tip 4: Remove Throw Rugs

Rugs create a big fall risk because they might have curled corners or they may be nonslip and cause a tripping hazard. You could fall into a toilet, a bathtub or a hard surface. 



Tip 5: Assess Your Activity

Look at your physical activity level and any limitations you have. Talk to your health care provider if you have any mobility challenges to determine if you would benefit from special equipment or a device such as a walker or a cane.


Fall Prevention Programs at Good Samaritan Hospital (West Islip, NY)

Catholic Health's Good Samaritan Hospital offers three evidence-based fall prevention programs to community members. Programs are free of charge. 

Call 516-241-0906 to learn more and enroll in classes.


Stepping On

Stepping On is a fall prevention program proven to reduce the risk of falls by up to 50 percent. It's a seven-week class that meets two hours each week.

Participants learn balance and strength exercises as well as fall risk factors. Guest speakers discuss the fall risk factors identified in class and ways to prevent falls. After completing this class, participants feel stronger and more confident going about their daily lives. 


A Matter of Balance

A Matter of Balance is an eight-week class that meets two hours a week. It focuses on reducing the fear of falling. Participants are involved in exercises and group discussions. They learn ways to reduce the fear of falling, increase activity levels and improve their lower extremity strength.


Moving for Balance 

Moving for Balance is a physical activity class that focuses on slow, flowing movements, breathing and focused attention. Through a low-impact form of exercise, participants will learn a sequence of movements that help improve physical condition, muscle strength, coordination, flexibility and balance. It is shown to decrease the risk of falling. 


Contact your physician before starting any exercise program. To find a Catholic Health physician near you, call (866) MY-LI-DOC (866-695-4362).

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