Jamaica Hospital Celebrates
National Fall Prevention Awareness Day
With National Fall Prevention Awareness Day quickly approaching on September 22, 2013,
Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Trauma Division wants to make sure you and your loved
ones are taking the proper steps to avoid this preventable incident.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “falls are the leading cause of
injury leading to death for adults 65 or older and are also the most common cause of nonfatal
injuries and hospital admission for trauma for this age group.” Falls are also the most common
form of traumatic brain injuries in older adults.
As we get older, physical changes and health conditions — and sometimes the medications used
to treat those conditions — increase the chances of falls. It is very important to follow these
simple steps to decrease your chances of falling:
- Make an appointment to see your doctor to determine your risk of falling. Discuss the
factors that increase your chances of falling, including your medical history, your muscle
strength and your medications to see if they have side effects such as dizziness or
weakness. You should also have your sight and hearing tested.
- Find a good exercise program aimed at building balance, strength, and flexibility.
Consider activities such as walking, water workouts and even tai chi. Ask your doctor to
write a referral to a physical therapist, who can create a customized exercise routine for
you if you are unsure.
- Wear appropriate footwear. High heel shoes, slippers, sandals, or any shoes with slick
soles can greatly increase your chances or slipping and falling. Instead, wear properly
fitting shoes, with nonskid soles. Choose shoes with laces or fasteners over slip-ons and
women should avoid walking in stocking feet.
- Look around your home and remove any tripping hazards. Remove any boxes, electrical
cords or stacks of paper from the floor and move furniture from high traffic areas. Secure
loose rugs with double-sided tape and use nonslip bathmats in the bathtub.
- Properly light your living space by placing nightlights in your bedroom and in your
hallways. Create clear paths to light switches and always turn on lights before using the
stairs. Also, store flashlights in easy to find locations in the event of a power outage.
- Speak with your doctor about the utilization of assistive device such as canes or walkers
for balance. Other assistive devices that are recommended for the home are handrails for
both sides of stairways, nonslip treads for bare-wood steps, grab bars for the shower, and
a raised toilet seat with armrests.
Falls are a largely preventable public health problem. Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Division urges
older adults and their loved ones to follow these fall prevention measures and live safe, healthy
For more information about falls or other trauma related issues, please contact Jamaica
Hospital’s Trauma Division at 718-206-8552.