Take Proactive Steps to Avoid Falling

In North Dakota, falls are the leading cause of preventable death for people 60 and older.
As Malique Rankin shows us, there are steps you can take to stay on your two feet.

In 2017, there were 62 fall-related deaths of North Dakotans age 60 years and older.

Dick Weber takes caution every day.. so that he does not become a part of that statistic.

Dick Weber; 77 year old: “Falling is the scariest thing because I have Parkinson’s disease and falling can be a disastrous thing.”

He has had a spill of his own.. that made him realize being proactive could save his life.

Dick Weber; 77 year old: “A helpless panicky feeling. What happened to me was two men were walking and saw me fall and they came and helped me up.”

Weber enrolled in Sanford’s “stepping on” program.

Catherine Staloch; Sanford Physical Therapist: “I’ve seen falls that resulted in factured necks, bleeding to the brain. There can be some really significant injuries from falls that have lasting impacts on these individuals for years.”

The department of health has tips to keep you off the ground:
-Check your home to identify fall hazards.
-Stay in shape to keep your body strong.
-Know the side effects your medications have that can make falling more likely.
-Make sure you’re seeing clearly so you can move around safely.

Weber took the 7-week class, and even bought himself a “fall alert” necklace. 

Dick Weber; 77 year old: “At my age, it’s critical that you not fall.”

Staloch says many times its fear that keeps people from getting the needed education.

Catherine Staloch; Sanford Physical Therapist: “I think there’s a fear. I think they’re scared sometimes to mention that they’ve fallen or they’re worried about falls. They’re worried that would lead them to not be able to stay in their homes independently.”

DOH says falls are not a normal part of aging, and staying a *step ahead* can keep you upright.

For information on where to sign up for “stepping on” the fall prevention class contact Mandy Slag with the North Dakota Department of Health at 701328 4537 or email at mslag@nd.gov.

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