Don't let the fear of falling keep you from having your independence.
Falls are a major threat to the wellbeing and independence of adults, ages 65 and older. Each year, almost one-third of seniors experience a fall. In 2013, a reported 2.5 million nonfatal falls were treated in emergency departments across the country.
These injuries could range from hip fracture, head trauma, and bruising, and seriously impact seniors’ ability to live an independent lifestyle. There are several risk factors for falls to be aware of, including medications, inadequate diet/exercise, hearing or vision imparement, environmental hazards and muscle weakness. Other factors may include:
- Ages over 80
- Risk-Taking Behavior
- Cognitive Impairment
- Gait/Balance Impairment
- Other Medical Conditions
Costs Associated with Falls
Fall-related injuries among older adults, particularly among older women, are associated with substantial economic costs. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports $20 billion spent annually to treat older adults for injuries caused by falls.
Aging Does Not Mean Falling!
Falls are NOT an inevitable part of aging! With practical lifestyle adjustments, fall prevention programs, and community partnerships, the number of falls among seniors can be substantially reduced.
Research has shown that 60-70% of all falls can be prevented. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported seeing strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of fall prevention programs.
Fall Prevention Steps
- Find a good balance and exercise program. Look to build balance, strength, and flexibility. Contact the Methodist Healthcare HealthLine at (210) 575-0355 to find a program best suited for you.
- Talk to your health care provider. Ask for an assessment of your risk of falling. Be sure to share any history of recent falls.
- Regularly review your medications. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about your current medications to make sure none of them are increasing your risk of falling. Take medications only as prescribed.
- Keep up with annual vision and hearing checkups. Vision and hearing impairments could increase your risk of falls. Annual checkups can catch many issues before they become serious concerns.
- Keep your home safe. Make sure your home is fall-proof as well. Remove any tripping hazards, increase lighting, make your stairs safe, and install any needed grab bars in key areas of your home.
- Talk to your family members. Enlist the support of your family by talking about simple ways to keep everyone in the house, not just older adults, safe.