PSA: September is Fall Prevention Awareness Month 

Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert are committed to raising awareness about fall prevention for older adults in the Rockland community.

The facts are clear: falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):

  • One-third of Americans aged 65+ falls each year.
  • Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.

Falls, with or without injury, can change one’s life in an instant. Many older adults fear falling and, as a result, limit their activities. This can result in further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness.

There are many reasons why people fall; the good news is that most falls can be prevented. Follow these simple tips to help prevent a fall:

  • Get up slowly; before moving forward, take a second to balance yourself, and count to ten before you take a step.
  • Wear sturdy, well-fitting shoes with low heels and non-slip soles.
  • See an eye specialist once a year. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling.
  • Review your medications annually with your doctor. Some medications have side effects that can cause dizziness.
  • Increase physical activity – regular exercise increases balance and strength.
  • Remove tripping hazards like throw rugs and clutter in hallways.
  • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
  • Have grab bars installed next to the toilet and in the tub or shower.
  • Have handrails on both sides of stairways and improve lighting in your entire home.
  • Ask for help if you need to reach items on high shelves or use a “reacher” (a device to help you), rather than stand on unsteady chairs or ladders. Keep items you use the most within reach.
  • Sit down to put your pants on.

“Ask your health care provider to do a fall risk assessment at your annual check-up. Medicare covers fall risk assessments and referrals (called STEADI – Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries) as part of your annual check-up,” said Dr. Ruppert.

To learn more visit or call 845-364-2500.

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