Don’t be a Statistic. Prevent a Fall.

NCOA 2020 Fall Prevention theme: Falls Free Checkup. by line: You can prevent falls and stick figure with arms outstretched.

This year, the United States observes Falls Prevention Week September 21 to 25.

Why is this important to readers of VisionAware? Did you know that 46.7% of adults aged 65+ with severe vision impairment fell vs. 27.7% of those without severe vision impairment (Crews, Chou, Stevens & Saaddine, 2014)?

What Can You Do to Avoid a Fall?

NCOA poster saying Fall Prevention is a Team Effort and family members checking a home for falls hazards.

Create a Fall Prevention Plan

Audrey Demmitt, R.N., suggests actions you can take:

  • If you have had a fall,  talk to your doctor about getting physical therapy
  • Wear sensible shoes
  • Have an annual eye exam and get your hearing checked
  • Consult with a vision rehabilitation therapist and also check in to mobility training to use a long-term cane properly
  • Check the lighting in your home
  • Modify your home to decrease fall risks
  • Sign up for a fall prevention class that includes balance exercises. If your state is inactive, contact fallsfree@ncoa.org.

Lest you think falls are related to aging, think again. Empish Thomas, in her post “Fall Prevention Is Not Just for Seniors,” writes “Falling is NOT a normal part of aging. (NCOA)”

How Can a Mobility Cane Help?

person walking on sidewalk using white mobility cane

Mary D’Apice, COMS, addresses this important topic in her post Low Vision and the White Cane: A Tool for Fall Prevention. Use a white cane to find obstacles and elevations, judge the depth of a curb and the size of a step, avoid holes and drop-offs, and to give you back your freedom of movement.

How Can I Learn More About What to Do in My Home?

Watch the VisionAware Fall Prevention Videos. We have a series of eight on several different topics including home adaptation, lighting, adapting your bath, and others.

Is There A Way I Can Check for Risk?

Yes, take the Falls Free Checkup survey. It will be emailed to you when you finish. You can send it to your doctor and share it with your family members.

Other Resources

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) hosts some special programming on during fall prevention week: watch past Facebook Live videos.

Also, NCOA offers a special Toolkit for professionals with marketing materials in English and Spanish to spread the word.

older woman standing with arms outstretched with chair behind her

Check out a Matter of Balance, a fall prevention program that has been adapted for vision loss. And read about Five Movements to Develop Balance.


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