September is Fall Prevention Awareness Month. What to know.

[anvplayer video=”5192032″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The first day of Fall is 10 days away and what doctors want you to be especially aware of is all in the name of the season.

September is Fall Prevention Awareness Month. A simple fall can come with many complications, especially if you’re age 65 and older.

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, falls are the leading cause of injury or accidental death, especially among older people.

“The cause for falls, or causes that can lead to falls, are lower extremity weakness and also bad fitting clothing, like shoes or pants. It can also be caused by medications,” said Mykel Kirkpatrick, the community outreach coordinator at Optum New Mexico.

The key step? Prevention.

Places like Optum NM are taking part in Fall Prevention Awareness Month. Optum is actually hosting a free event where they’ll do fall prevention screenings.

“We are going to put you through a series of tests like sit-to-stands where we have you stand up from a chair, have you walk to a certain point and then come back. These tests really determine if a person is at a high risk for a fall,” Kirkpatrick said.

Health officials add staying physically active can improve muscle and make you stronger, which also prevents falls as you get older. What also helps is trying balance and strength training exercises.

For more information on the upcoming event, contact Optum New Mexico.