Every second of every day, an older adult will fall.(1) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identify falls as the “number one cause for injuries and deaths from injury among older Americans.”1 Statistics from 2014, indicate that 37.5% of the reported 29 million falls resulted in an injury that required medical care or affected activities of daily life.(2) In many cases, these serious injuries can lead to permanent injury, loss of mobility, and loss of independence. However, falls are not something that just happen due to aging, there are proven ways to reduce falls. The information, resources, and activities found here provide the 411 on how physical activity, good nutrition, and hydration can help reduce the risk for falls in older adults. You will also find safety tips and information on how to prevent falls at home.
Physical activity and nutrition for falls prevention
The two key factors that work in combination to keep older adults strong are: physical activity and good nutrition. Resistance training and other physical activity can help older adults maintain their muscle mass and strength, which helps to reduce their risk of falls. However, don’t forget that their physical activity needs to be fueled with the right kinds of food! A healthy diet is needed to provide older adults with ample energy, and muscle-building nutrients like protein. Share the following, “Falls Prevention: Physical Activity and Nutrition” presentation to help older adults learn about these important lifestyle factors, and help them identify if they are at risk for frailty and/or poor nutrition.
Screening tools that can be used with presentation:
Physical Activity and Nutrition Resources:
Hydration for falls prevention
Three symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, muscle weakness, and fatigue—all of which can increase the risk of falls and injury. Share the presentation “Bottoms Up: Why Hydration is Important” to help older adults learn more about how much fluid they need and how dehydration can increase their risk of falls.
Safety for falls prevention
Environmental hazards can increase falls risk. Older adults can avoid accidents that cause falls by dressing properly, keeping their home free of obstacles, installing safety devices in appropriate places, asking friends and family for help when a task may be too difficult or dangerous to perform, and much more. Take the time to share the presentation “Safety Tips for Falls Preventions” for more ideas on how older adults can stay safe!
Safety tip resources
Get linked today – with government food programs!
Nutrition education and services
1. Falls are leading cause of injury and death in older Americans. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Published January 1, 2016. Accessed August 23, 2017.
2. Bergen G, Stevens MR, Burns ER. Falls and fall injuries among adults aged ≥65 years - United States, 2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65(37):993-998. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6537a2.
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