Facing the Fear of Falling
A fall is defined as unintentionally coming to rest on a lower level, whether or not the faller is injured. Falls can result in injuries, ranging from minor to major, which can lead to hospitalizations. Falls are most likely to occur inside the home during the morning hours with more than 75% resulting in some form of injury. Nursing home admissions are often related to the after-effects of a fall, such as broken bones. Post-hospital facility admissions often result in an inability to return home, due to no longer being able to care for oneself.
Regular physical activity can decrease the risk for falls, which decreases the rate of admission to the hospital. This also decreases extra health care costs to both the individual and the overall healthcare system. Fall prevention programs in the community are a good place to learn about activities that both enhance health and improve confidence in one’s mobility.
Holistically, physical activity can enhance mental and physical health in a variety of ways. Physical activity can assist in the management of chronic illness and can increase one’s sense of independence and well-being. Benefits of fall prevention programs include delaying elements of deterioration related to aging, and increasing social skills and networks. All of these elements have a positive impact in reducing the likelihood of falls and maintaining one’s independence at home.
A Matter of Balance
Are you in Santa Fe and interested in participating in a community fall prevention program? Then check out “A Matter of Balance”! This month-long program features 2 two-hour sessions each week discussing habits to decrease falls and increase self-confidence. Nurses With Heart is excited to join the New Mexico Department of Health along with AARP in hosting this program, which is available to the Santa Fe community for $20 per enrollee. For more information, please see the below poster.