The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has released a variety of fall prevention tips in response to the upcoming September 22 Falls Prevention Awareness Day. The AOTA adds that falls are the leading cause of injury and accidental deaths in adults older than age 65 years.
A number of factors can contribute to a stumble or fall, including clutter, inappropriate footwear, poor balance, distractions, and tripping hazards. “If the home environment or other environment is not supporting the person’s abilities the occupational therapist can provide an assessment and recommendations to make it safer and encourage participation in meaningful activities,” Karen Smith, OT, CAPS, practice associate for the AOTA, says.
The AOTA provides a wide range of strategies to reduce fall risks. These include identifying and eliminating fall hazards in the home, removal or firm securement of throw rugs, add railings and grab bars in trouble areas, and install nonslip strips or rubber mats in tubs and showers or areas that pose a slipping to tripping risk.
The National Council on Aging annually sponsors Falls Prevention Awareness Day. Its theme, “Preventing Falls—One Step at a Time,” aims to unite professionals, older adults, caregivers, and family members in raising awareness and preventing falls in the older adult population. The AOTA reports that a total of 43 states participated in Falls Prevention Awareness Day last year, joining more than 70 national organizations.
For more information about the National Falls Prevention Day, click here