We have started to feel the switch from Summer to Fall this week. As the dog days of summer wind down, we feel the cooler temperatures in the morning and see our daylight hours become less and less. We know that soon pumpkin spice will be in the air and the orange brilliance of pumpkins decorating our doorsteps. The leaves will soon fall, and there will be yard cleanup. These are all the “Joys of Fall.”
There is another type of Fall that is not so enjoyable. It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often a head injury or hip fracture, and 17,000 people die in the U.S. annually because of these injuries. Many falls with serious injuries may be prevented by taking action to prevent falls. Clean up clutter and keep pathways clear, have proper lighting in areas, wear shoes or footwear that prevents slipping, and install grab bars or handrails where it may be steep or wet. If you are on medications that may affect your stability, ensure you communicate these effects with your medical provider. Fall prevention should be on the list of things we think about every season. If Fall is your favorite season, don’t let a fall ruin it.
Kris Jacobson, LNHA, LALD, MBA