One step at a time seems like such a simple concept.
Despite that, slips and trips can happen to anyone so it’s important to be aware and, literally, take steps that reduce your risk of falls.
People over the age of just 55 are most prone to falls, though anyone with physical or sensory deficits, such as visual impairments or foot problems, is at risk. Also at risk are those with a chronic illness, those taking more than four prescription medications, and those who have noticed a decline in their physical mobility or changes in their balance.
Although the state has reopened and life is returning to a new period of normalcy, COVID-19 will have a persistent impact until a vaccine is available or herd immunity is achieved and it could be many months before precautions such as social distancing are not required and until the hospital system does not need to stand at the ready bracing for potentially high numbers of cases.
Older adults who fall are among the heaviest users of emergency rooms so preventing falls helps to ease the burden on healthcare providers. Older adults are also at highest risk to suffer serious effects of COVID-19 and so staying out of the hospital where the exposure risk is heightened is in their best interest.
This is an important time to focus on reducing the risk of falls, which is why VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice has moved its award winning fall prevention program Steady Steps into the virtual space so it remains accessible despite the fact that the agency’s in-person classes and assessments are on hold for the immediate future.
The program includes a 10-session fall risk education component as well as exercise classes and demonstrations.
Falls are one of the most preventable health problems. Of our Steady Steps participants, 85 percent lowered their risk of falls, improved balance and learned how to prevent falls from occurring.
Funded by a grant from the Connecticut Collaboration for Fall Prevention and Yale University School of Medicine through the Department of Aging, our Steady Steps program is based on research by experts from both.
To view links and details on the complete Virtual Steady Steps program, click here.