Standing Together to Prevent Falls

“United we stand, divided we fall” isn’t just a patriotic slogan – it’s also the rallying cry of Californians who joined forces with USC’s Fall Prevention Center of Excellence to celebrate the fifth annual Fall Prevention Awareness Week.

Standing united the first week of autumn (September 22-28, 2012), California’s fall prevention coalitions, health care providers, and senior service agencies held presentations, health fairs, screenings and workshops to raise awareness about the seriousness of falls and ways to reduce fall risk.

It’s always a good time to prevent falls, however, and USC’s Fall Prevention Center of Excellence has many resources and tips to help.

  • View The Falling Monologues, a series of humorous and educational performances about common fall risks and ways to reduce them, written and directed by Marilyn Faber and performed by older actors.

For older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths, unintentional injuries, and hospital admissions for trauma. Most falls among older adults happen in and around the home, but there are some simple and inexpensive ways to eliminate hazards:

  •  Remove throw rugs: Throw rugs are a common trip hazard and should be removed. If you can move a rug with your foot, you could trip over it, too. Secure all rugs to the floor with rug grippers, which can be found at a home improvement store.
  •  Keep pathways clear: Make sure there are clear walking pathways by picking up clutter and relocating to storage areas, coiling up and securing electric cords to the floor or wall and rearranging furniture if necessary.
  • Light the way: Make sure all rooms, hallways and stairways are well lit. Put a lamp in an easy-to-reach place by the bed and use nightlights to illuminate the path between your bedroom and bathroom. Be aware of uneven surfaces such as thresholds in doorways or when there are changes in flooring such as between carpeting and linoleum.