Did you know falls are the leading cause of death for people 55 and older? According to the Center for Disease Control, almost 3,000 adults over the age of 55 died from falls in 2017.
Here are the facts:
- One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
- Each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
- Over 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.
What Causes Falls?
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Difficulties with walking and balance
- Medications, tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants. Even some over-the-counter medicines can affect balance.
- Vision problems
- Foot pain or poor footwear
- Home hazards
Most falls are caused by a combination of factors. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling.
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines to see if any might make you dizzy. Include all your medications including prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines.
- Ask your doctor about taking vitamin D supplements.
- Do yoga or strength and balance exercises.
- Have Your Eyes Checked
- Do a Home Safety Check including getting rid of things that can be tripped over. Add assistance bars in your bathroom. Be sure you have railings on your stairs.
With some careful preparation and precautions, you do not need to be the victim of a fall.