As the fall season rolls in, so does the message about falls prevention awareness from the Missouri Department of Health .
One in three seniors in Missouri will suffer a serious fall in their lifetime, according to the Health Department. The number of those falls that result in death, says Director Margaret Donnelly, is a third higher than the national average.
Donnelly says the department is urging Missouri seniors to make sure they’re exercising and maintaining good strength and balance, identify hazards in their home, such as area rugs they could slip and fall on, make sure their medication is balanced so it’s not making them dizzy, and get their vision checked on a regular basis.
The department recommends older adults who live alone have a good safety plan in place with their family and friends, whether it’s calling to check in every day, frequent visits or wearing an alert device in case of an emergency. Donnelly says awareness of the risk is key to preventing them and senior citizens can get information on how to be proactive and prevent falls either through the Health Department or their community senior center. Donnelly says most think about the elderly falling a breaking a hip, but the injuries are far reaching.