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Home Safety Checklist Available for NJ Falls Prevention Week

Chilton Hospital honors New Jersey Falls Prevention WeekNew Jersey Falls Prevention Awareness Week is from September 22 until September 29. If you or a loved is at risk for falling, the NJ Department of Human Services offers a printable Home Safety Checklist.

Fall facts:

  • More than one third of adults 65 and older fall each year in the U.S.
  • In 2010, nearly 23,000 older Americans died due to an unintentional fall, 338 of those were in NJ.
  • In NJ, each day an average of 194 older adults aged 60 and over are treated in emergency departments or as inpatients due to a fall (2012: Center for Health Statistics).
  • In NJ, 75 percent of falls admitted as inpatients were 60 or older (2012).
  • Falls are the No. 1 cause of brain injury among older adults.
  • Falls and the fear of falling can lead to depression and hopelessness, loss of mobility and loss of functional independence.

Tips on how to prevent falls:

  • Exercise regularly. It increases strength, flexibility and balance.
  • Have your eyes checked by a doctor at least once a year.
  • Wear the right footwear. The safest shoes fit your feet, have low heels, non-slip soles and lace up or are secured with fabric fasteners.
  • Ask the doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter. Many medicines can cause side effects such as weakness or dizziness. Taking four or more medicines increases your risk for a fall.
  • Make your home safer by removing fall hazards and improving lighting: Remove clutter like loose papers, boxes, wires and phone cords from walk paths and stairways. Make lights brighter, especially in stairways. Consider a nightlight in bath, bedroom and hallways. Install bath grips or grab bars in your tub or shower Use non-skid liners under rugs. Or better still, remove all throw rugs

Source: The State of New Jersey Department of Human Services

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