AHS Weekly Wellness: 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, as we get older our risk of falling increases. Falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults over the age of 65, and one in three Alberta seniors will fall once a year. With or without an injury, seniors who experience a fall may develop a fear of falling. This can lead to restricting activity, which can increase their risk for another fall.

“It is important to encourage seniors to get out and stay active in their communities,” says Emily Post, Provincial Continuing Care. “It is easy to think that restricting activity may reduce your risk of falling, but it can negatively affect your quality of life, contribute to physical inactivity and decreased muscle mass and lead to social isolation.”

November is Falls Prevention Month. This year’s theme is Finding Balance – Stay Independent. Prevent Falls.  “Falls risk management and prevention is everyone’s responsibility. I challenge you to look around your environment and find something that could increase someone’s risk of falling – this might be in your home, at work or in your community – and make a change. We all have a role to play to help prevent a fall before it happens.”

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 walk 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.

To learn more about Finding Balance – Stay Independent. Prevent Falls. Visit www.findingbalancealberta.ca/2017-campaign/