Falls Prevention Week

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 36 million falls occur each year in the United States among adults age 65 and older, sending over 950,000 of them to the hospital. Older adults are hospitalized for falls five times more often than for any other type of injury.

There are many things that can cause a fall. A person's eyesight, hearing and reflexes may not be as sharp as they used to be. Certain medical conditions like heart disease and nerve damage can affect a person's balance. Loss of muscle mass, sudden drops in blood pressure, and even some medications can result in falls.

So what can you do? While many of these factors can't be avoided, you can do plenty to reduce your risk of falling and injuring yourself.

 Fall Prevention Tips

The CDC offers the following tips to help prevent falls: 

Stay Active

  • Try exercise routines such as tai chi and yoga to improve your leg strength and balance.

Make Your Home Safer

  • Keep floors free of trip hazards like throw rugs.
  • Install grab bars in the bathrooms and non-slip mats in bathtubs.
  • Use extra lights and brighter bulbs to improve visibility in your home.

Speak Up

  • Tell your healthcare provider if you are unsteady, are afraid you are going to fall, or have already fallen.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medications for any that might make you feel dizzy or sleepy.
  • Get an eye exam at least once a year.
  • Have a healthcare provider check your feet at least once a year and discuss proper footwear.

The STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries) Home Tour

What's Your Risk?

The National Council on Aging wants you to understand that falls are not a natural part of aging. They have created a Falls Free Checkup with 13 simple questions that can help you assess your risk. Please take a moment to answer their questions, and discuss the results with your healthcare provider.

If you feel you or a loved one are at risk for falling, consider getting a medical alert system.

Fall Prevention Resources