More than half of NHRMC trauma patients come from falling, groups trying to decrease that number

Useful tips for Fall Prevention Awareness Week about how to prevent falls

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The week of Sept. 21 is Fall Prevention Awareness Week and the Wilmington Fire Department (WFD) is doing its part to keep folks safe.

Believe it or not, falls are the number one cause of trauma patients that are seen at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Around 65 percent of those patients are 65 and older, and approximately half of those adults admitted were discharged to an assisted living facility.

WFD says, since this time last year, they’ve been to about 70 calls of people falling. But, falling isn’t just taking a tumble to the ground—it can be falling off a ladder or falling from riding your bicycle.

Of course, there are ways to prevent falls for people of all ages. For folks who are older, make your home is as safe as possible by removing any unnecessary or old items and for those doing yard work or riding bikes, make sure to wear protective equipment and always have somebody else around as a precaution.

“Of course, good balance, healthy strong muscles, they all contribute to the prevention of a fall,” said Wendy Giannini-King, Community Risk Reduction Coordinator. “If you do fall down, the first thing you need to do is make sure you’re not injured and then try slowly to get yourself to your knees, then find something to grab on to—a sofa, a chair or something sturdy. That’s also where good strong muscles come in is, if a fall does happen, are you able to get yourself back up or at least get to a place you can get help, like a telephone?”

Giannini-King said good exercise can help prevent any type of fall.

WFD also has a program where they will come to your home to inspect it and offer advice to get rid of any unnecessary risks. However, it is on hold for the moment because of COVID-19.

Another program, run by the YMCA and found here, helps seniors with strength, balance, and fitness.

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