This month is Ontario’s first ever Fall Prevention Month, and the HKPR District Health Unit is asking local residents to get on board.

Health Promoter and Chair of the Aging Well Committee, Angela Andrews says this month is a good way to make progress in this public health issue. She says falls affect not only the person who fell, but their loved ones and caregivers, so we all have a role to play in addressing the problem.

Andrews says there are some key warning signs if someone is prone to falling:

  • a previous fall in the past six months
  • a constant fear of falling
  • the use of multiple medications and drugs
  • balance and mobility problems
  • medical conditions such as stroke or Parkinson’s disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
  • vision issues such as blurred/double vision and difficulty seeing steps or walking in dim light.

Andrews also says there are ways to prevent falls:

  • Stay or become more active. Focus especially on lower body strength and balance.
  • Review all medications with your doctor or pharmacist to ensure they are appropriate for your condition.
  • Get annual eye checkups and update your eyeglasses.
  • Make your home and living space safer to get around. Remove clutter and tripping hazards, put railings on all stairs, add grab bars in the bathroom, and have good lighting especially on stairs and entryways.