Fall Prevention Awareness Week in September puts the spotlight on the dangers of falls and fall-related injuries for older adults.
Millions of those 65 and older fall each year, and statics for falls and fall-related injuries are eye-opening.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):
- Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.
- Falls are the seventh leading cause of death among older adults.
- One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
- Each year, three million older adults are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
- More than 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.
- Each year, at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
- More than 95 percent of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways.
There are many factors that contribute to falls in older adults including medications, balance issues, vision problems, and unsafe environments. Addressing these issues can help keep you safe from fall-related injuries.
Balance exercises, such as those from Go4Life, can help you improve balance and walk safely. Practicing Tai Chi is another great way to improve your balance.
Check your risk for falling using this self-assessment from the CDC and talk to your doctor about the results. Review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist to see which ones may be contributing to balance issues. Also, have your vision checked.
While falls can occur anywhere, they most often occur in your own home (70 percent of home falls occur in the bathroom). It’s important to remove clutter and keep walkways clear.
Download our free Fall Prevention Tip Sheet to prevent injury and help keep you or your loved ones safe in the comfort of their own home.