Aging Life Care Professionals® Can Help Older Adults and Their Families Plan to Prevent Falls

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In anticipation of the National Council on Aging’s (NCOA) National Fall Prevention Week (9/21- 9/25), the Aging Life Care Association® is working to help families be aware of how to help older adults prevent falls.

Having an Aging Life Care Manager as part of your health care plan for your older loved one can help avoid this common, but avoidable, part of aging.

In anticipation of the National Council on Aging’s (NCOA) National Fall Prevention Week (9/21- 9/25), the Aging Life Care Association® is working to help families be aware of how to help older adults prevent falls.

According to the National Council on Aging, one in four Americans aged 65+ fall every year. And this can be especially tricky to manage if caregivers or loved ones cannot get to their older adult due to restrictions related to COVID19. When an older person falls, visits to the emergency room are compounded when factoring in COVID and potential restrictions for families and for reentering a long-term facility afterwards.

With falls as the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans, they can be costly—in dollars and in quality of life. Falls can also result in hip fractures, broken bones and head injuries. Falls, even without a major injury, can cause an older adult to become fearful or depressed, making it difficult for them to stay active.

Falls prevention requires a multi-prong approach. Through practical lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based programs, and community partnerships, the number of falls among seniors can be reduced substantially. Working with a primary care physician, certified aging-in-place specialists and exercise programs, an Aging Life Care Manager® can help families coordinate care for their elder loved one to prevent a fall, and navigate the health system if one occurs.

Having an Aging Life Care Manager as part of your health care plan for your older loved one can help avoid this common, but avoidable, part of aging. An Aging Life Care Manager ensures a living space is safe by removing common tripping hazards such as throw rugs, cords and wires; installing grab bars and hand rails to toilets, tubs and showers; and improving lighting. They can also work with the elder to create an exercise regimen to increase strength and improve balance; as well as install proper emergency alert systems.

Falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits and nonfatal trauma-related hospitalizations for older adults, as well as long-term nursing home admissions

ALCA Board President and Aging Life Care Manager for over 25 years, Liz Barlowe offers some ways families and older adults can prevent falls: “talk with your healthcare provider, exercise to improve balance and increase strength, hydration and nutrition, make your home safer – inside and out, have good footwear, good hydration and nutrition.”

During this Fall Prevention Week (9/21-25), here are other resources to check out: National Council on Aging’s Falls Prevention Resource Center for six steps to prevent fall; An Aging Life Care Manager can conduct a fall risk assessment and develop a plan to avert risks

About the Aging Life Care Association®
Aging Life Care Association® was formed in 1985 to advance dignified, coordinated care for older adults in the United States. Founded by and handful of women entrepreneurs in the social work and nursing fields, the Association has grown to over 2000 members nationwide, who have cared for about two million older adults over its 35-year history. Members have extensive training and experience working with older adults, people with disabilities, and families who need assistance with caregiving issues. Members must meet stringent education, experience, and certification requirements. Members may be trained in any of number of fields related to long-term care, including nursing, social work, and other allied health professions with a specialized focus on issues related to aging. All members are required to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Aging Life Care™ and the role of care providers have captured a national spotlight with the onset of the global pandemic, and as generations of Baby Boomers age in the United States and abroad. For more information or to access a nationwide directory of Aging Life Care Professionals, please visit http://www.aginglifecare.org.

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Courtney Pulitzer
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