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Fall Prevention

Basic Facts:  In the United States, one of every three persons age 65 and older falls each year.  For those 80 years and older, half will experience at least one fall each year.  Falls are the leading cause of injury, death, and hospital admissions due to trauma in the older adult.  Over 98% of hip fractures are caused by falls.  Despite the high incidence of falls in the aging population, falling is not a part of the normal aging process and can be prevented.

Risk Factors Increased for Fall Risk: Factors that can contribute to falls include: muscle weakness, past falls, problems with walking and balance, poor vision, arthritis, depression, taking more than 4 medications, and age greater than 80.

Reducing Risk of Falls:The National Center for Injury Control and Prevention, a division of the Centers for Disease Control, recommended the following:

  • Have your vision checked regularly.  Poor vision can increase your chances of falling.
  • Have your primary care physician or pharmacist review your medications.  Include medications that don't need prescriptions (such as cold medicines).
  • Make your home safer.  Remove items you can trip over from places where you walk.  A thorough check list is available by the CDC.