According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries in older adults. Furthermore, one in four seniors over the age of 65 falls each year resulting in almost 3 million injuries that are treated in emergency rooms annually. And while many believe falls are an inevitable part of aging, with proper precautions put in place, the number of injuries from falls could be greatly reduced.
Myths About Age-Related Falls
Myth #1: Men are more likely to fall.
This is a myth. Women are more likely to fall, as well as more likely to suffer from more serious fall-related injuries.
Myth #2: A fall is most likely the result of failing health or muscle deterioration.
There are a variety of reasons an elderly person may fall. Many falls occur from changes in vision, medications, poor lighting or objects obstructing a pathway.
Myth #3: Falling is simply a part of getting older.
No, seniors can work towards a life without falling. Seniors can take many different approaches to ensure a life without falls, and more importantly, injury.
Preventing Falls As You Age
- Exercise and focus on balance. Staying active and keeping your body moving is a great way to improve strength, balance and flexibility. Activities like swimming and yoga are great, low-impact exercises that can keep muscles from deteriorating without causing injury.
- Regularly review medications with your doctor. Medications can cause dizziness which can lead to dangerous falls. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist about mixing medications and work to set up a proper medication management plan.
- Get regular vision checks. Proper vision is important for a variety of reasons, but can be especially effective at preventing falls. Ensure your vision prescription is always up-to-date and visit your eye doctor regularly for routine examinations.
- Safety efforts are key. Ensure that pathways and high-traffic areas are always clear of clutter and stray cords. Turn on lights when moving around to avoid bumping into something in the dark. And always utilize safety grab bars.
While falls are the leading cause of injury in elderly adults, they don’t have to be in the future. Take these precautionary steps to avoid suffering a fall that could injure you or potentially be fatal