The first day of fall marks Falls Prevention Awareness Day — and this year, the holiday lands on September 22. This holiday, is an opportunity for people to learn how to prevent fall-related injuries that affect older adults.

Unfortunately, every 11 seconds an older adult is hospitalized for a fall; every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall. These numbers are scary, but many accidents can be prevented. So this year, get involved with your community — local, state and national — and spread the message of prevention.

1. The easiest thing you can do is to clean up clutter and keep your home neat and tidy.
2. Repair or remove tripping hazards. Sometimes home fixtures can contribute to falls, which can then lead to back pain and other injuries. Examine every room and hallway, looking for items such as loose carpet, slippery throw rugs, or wood floorboards that stick up. Then repair, remove, or replace those items for more effective fall prevention.
3.Light it right. Inadequate lighting is another major hazard. To create a home that’s more suitable for the elderly, install brighter light bulbs where needed, particularly in stairways and narrow hallways.
4. Be aware, take your time, and move carefully!