How To Prevent Falls
The chances of falling, and being seriously injured in a fall, increase with age. Each year, one in every three adults, age 65 and older, falls (CDC). Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries such as hip fractures and head traumas. These types of injuries make it difficult to get around or live independently, and increase the risk of early death. Fortunately, falls can be prevented by creating and maintaining a safe home environment, just follow these simple rules:
- Remove throw rugs – throw rugs are the leading cause of slips, trips and falls.
- Keep an uncluttered path between the bathroom and the bed.
- Remove or relocate extension cords, which may cause a trip hazard.
- Use night lights.
- Use handrails and non-slip mats in the bathtub.
- Keep stairs well maintained.
- Do not mix medications with alcohol.
- Keep a cordless phone within reach in case of an emergency.
- Exercise regularly to improve strength, balance, and coordination.
- Take your time and be aware of your surroundings.
- Make an annual appointment with your eye doctor as poor vision increases the chances of falling.
- Wear shoes that fit and have a sturdy non-slip sole.
- Do weight bearing exercise.
- Get screened and treated for osteoporosis.
Senior Home Safety Check List (pdf)
- Seniors make up 13% of the population but account for 30% of all medical calls in the City of Tucson.
- By 2030 25% of Arizona’s population will be 65+
- Roughly 60% of all fall injuries happen to people over age 75
- 32% of all fall injuries occur in the 85+ age group, which accounts for 1% of the general population
- Women are more likely than men to be injured in a fall.
- Men are more likely to die from a fall.
- Over 90% of hip fractures are caused by falls.
- In 2008, 82% of fall deaths were among people 65 and older.
- Many people who fall, even if they are not injured, develop a fear of falling.