Gateway Gazette

AHS Weekly Wellness News: Stay on your feet and stay active

November is Seniors’ Falls Prevention Month

Let’s face it; falls can happen to anyone at any time but the reality is that as we get older our risks of falling are greater. The statistics paint an alarming picture; one in three Alberta seniors will fall every year. Not only are falls the leading cause of serious injuries in older adults they also result in reduced mobility as fears can increase over getting up and moving around.

While staying in one place may reduce the risk of falling, it also negatively affects your quality of life. That’s why the theme for this year’s Senior’s Fall Prevention month is Keep Balance – Increase Your Strength and Balance.

We’re asking seniors to help reduce their risk of falls by participating in the “Seniors’ Keep Active Challenge”, says Jodie Breadner, Clinical Coordinator, Falls Risk Management Program, Calgary. “People can participate by themselves, with friends or through fitness classes. It’s as simple as signing up through UWalk on the Finding Balance website, then counting and recording steps or minutes of physical activity from November 1 – 30.”

While Fall Prevention Month is geared to seniors, it’s a good opportunity to remind all Albertans about the risk of falling. As temperatures drop, the risk of snow and ice increases. Every year, thousands of Albertans are hurt falling on icy roads and walkways.

Injury prevention experts say the best way to avoid falls on ice and snow is to waddle like a penguin.

  • Stay low
  • Feet pointed out
  • Walk flat footed
  • Use your arms for balance

It’s not the fastest or most graceful way to walk, but it will help keep you on your feet. Learn more about walking on slippery sidewalks at http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/10958.asp.

For more information about the “Keep Active Challenge” and other programs visit www.findingbalancealberta.ca or call 1-888-492-6014

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