The leaves blowing off the trees is a sign of fall, but there is also another type of fall to think about. Have you heard much about falls prevention?
- Maybe you have overheard someone speaking about how important wearing boots and shoes that have good support and plenty of tread is.
- Maybe your healthcare provider discussed with you which medications could potentially cause a fall.
- Perhaps you have taken steps to remove loose rugs and tripping hazards in your home and even installed grab bars in the washroom.
That is great you have taken these steps to reduce your risk!
Tragically, perhaps you know someone who experienced a fall and could no longer remain living independently in the community. With one in three older adults falling at least once every year, the chances of this happening are pretty good. But what happens if despite following all the falls prevention tips, you still experience a fall?
The first thing to do is to remain calm and stay still for a moment to catch your breath. Then, evaluate whether or not you are injured. If you are not hurt, lie on your side, bend the leg that is on top and lift yourself onto your elbows or hands. If someone is with you, allow them to support you while you do this, but encourage them to not to try to lift you to avoid injuring themselves. Pull yourself over to an armchair or sturdy object, then kneel while placing both hands on the object. Place your stronger leg in front, holding onto the object and pull yourself up slowly to a standing position and then sit in a chair carefully. If you do realize that you have an injury, call for medical assistance. For tips on what to do if you cannot get up or if you witness someone having a fall, check out Health Canada and Falls Prevention Month sites.