Fall Awareness Week aims to prevent dangerous slips and falls

Eric Thomas and Tarahn Elder
Posted at 8:54 AM, Sep 20, 2022

GREAT FALLS — The return of Autumn means the beginning of Fall Awareness Week. This is part of an important reminder to take precautions at home and with your lifestyle to prevent serious injuries as a result of falling.

Many people assume that dangerous falls are only a hazard to elderly people, but all ages can fall victim to injuries and expensive hospital bills as a result of a slip or tumble.

“Anybody can fall from babies to older adults, but most of the falls can be prevented,” says Melissa Dale, Manager of Falls Prevention.

There are steps homeowners can take to make sure they minimize their risk of falling.

“At home, you can make sure you have clearer pathways, anti-slip under your rugs, and adequate lighting helps out quite a bit,” says Tarahn Elder, who works at The Ivy in Great Falls.

One in three falls in Montana are attributed to slips and stumbles so to further minimize risk, you can stay physically active to strengthen muscles and boost balance. Falls should be taken as serious as other severe injuries such as lacerations because fractured or broken bones can be equally severe, especially among the elderly.

“Fall risks are significant when they occur, the magnitude is so big, because, in the elderly if there’s a fall the first thing we think about is a broken hip, and a broken hip can be so severe, it can almost mean the difference between life and death,” says Dr. Eric Thomas at The Ivy.

Staying on your toes and installing anti-slip hardware can make all the difference when trying to prevent severe injury or worse.