Springfield – The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) is committed to empowering all older adults in Illinois to reduce their risk of falls, which are one of the greatest causes of serious injuries and death among people over age 65. This week, IDoA is partnering with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) to emphasize Falls Prevention Awareness Week.
Specifically, as part of this national outreach campaign, IDoA is raising awareness among older Illinoisans to identify the various services available in your area. IDoA can connect older adults and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources that can assist older adults with providing groceries, assistive technology, access to ethnic meals, home modifications, and rental assistance. Learn more by using the department’s Provider Profile search tool. Additionally, visitors to www.ncoa.org/FallsFreeCheckUp can complete a short, 12-question survey that screens them for the most common falls risk factors.
“Unfortunately, the home is the number one place where falls occur, and with many older Illinoisans spending more time at home these days, it’s important to take the steps you can to reduce fall risks in your home,” said Paula Basta, Director of IDoA. “The NCOA has a strong history of helping older residents in Illinois, and we’re proud to be part of this national education and outreach initiative that is helping millions of older adults age well and stay falls free.”
Prepare to safely stay inside during the COVID-19 pandemic with these fall prevention tips:
• Home Safety: Find and fix trip and fall hazards in your home. Consider rearranging your kitchen, so commonly used items are within reach. Remove throw rugs, as they are a tripping hazard, and wrap cords or wires and keep them off the floor if you can.
• Physical Activity: Be active! Physical activity is a great way to prevent falls and there are many exercises that can be done at home. For ideas, visit our website.
• Care for Your Feet: Wear proper-fitting, nonslip footwear, even at home.
• Medicine Safety: Continue your medicine routine. Don’t wait to the last minute to have your medications refilled. Talk to your pharmacist and health care insurer to see if your insurance plan offers a more affordable mail-order option. Some insurers are also allowing early refills and extending the term of a prescription from a 30-day supply to a 90-day supply. (See more on how Medicare is responding to COVID-19.) Additionally, if you rely on others to help fill your weekly medication boxes or remind you to take your medications, consider the Automated Medication Dispenser Program (AMD). AMD is a service provided under IDoA’s Community Care Program.
IDoA, its 13 Area Agencies on Aging, and 55 Care Coordination Units are working to ensure that services provided by the agency are never interrupted. If you or an older family member, friend, or neighbor need assistance, please visit www.illinois.gov/aging or contact the Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 (hearing impaired call 888-206-1327) or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a trusted national leader working to ensure that every person can age well. Since 1950, their mission has not changed: Improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. NCOA empowers people with the best solutions to improve their own health and economic security – and NCOA strengthens government programs that we all depend on as we age. Every year, millions of people use their signature programs BenefitsCheckUp®, My Medicare Matters®, and the Aging Mastery Program® to age well. By offering online tools and collaborating with a nationwide network of partners, NCOA is working to improve the lives of 40 million older adults by 2030. Learn more at www.ncoa.org and @NCOAging.