Falling among aging adults is the leading cause of injury and death. Falling can be something that can be prevented and less detrimental if precautionary steps are taken. First, here are some frightening statistics about falling :
1. 1/4 of Americans 65 and older fall each year.
2. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall.
3. Every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.
4. Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury.
How can we help ourselves and our loved ones prevent falls?
Falls can be a result of use of medicines, such as sedatives, antidepressants, and tranquilizers that will affect your balance. Poor footwear, foot pain, hazardous steps, clutter, no handrails, and throw rugs can all be causes of falls that can be prevented. Vitamin D deficiency is another leading cause of falling among aging adults, so monitoring this is essential. Weakness in muscles can also cause the body to tremble and potentially fall: stay active and light weight lifting as we age can prevent muscles from deteriorating.
Talk to your doctor to ensure you are not on dizzying medication, evaluate your risk for falling and do the specific things they recommend to prevent falling. Have your eyes checked, add handrails, purchase a cane, anything that may be of assistance. Get rid of things that may cause you to fall, and make sure your home is well lit, especially at night when you may be up using the restroom.