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Falls Among Older Adults

Falls risk the health and independence of older adults and can significantly limit their ability to remain self-sufficient. According to the CDC, each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls1. Fall can cause both moderate and serious injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death. Fortunately, falls can be preventable through safety precautions as well as maintain a healthy lifestyle through exercise and necessary vitamin supplements .  

Facts about Falls

  • One out of three older adults (those aged 65 or older) falls each year1 but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it.  
  • Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries.  
  • In 2010, 2.3 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 662,000 of these patients were hospitalized.  
  • 20-30% of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as lacerations, hip fractures, or head traumas. These injuries can make it hard to get around or live independently, and increase the risk of early death.  
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).  
  • In 2000, 46% of fatal falls among older adults were due to TBI.  
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    Help Prevent Falls

  • Exercise regularly. It is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance.  
  • Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines—both prescription and over-the-counter —to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.  
  • Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update their eyeglasses to maximize their vision. Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.  
  • Make their homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways, bed rails, and improving the lighting in their homes.  
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    To lower risk of hip fractures

  • Get adequate calcium, and vitamin D —from food and/or from vitamin D supplements.  
  • Do weight bearing exercise.  
  • Get screened and, if needed, treated for osteoporosis.  
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    For more information about falls, please visit the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention .  

     

    Source: http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/Falls/adultfalls.html  

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