What You Need to Know About Falls

Millions of older adults fall every year in the United States.

Falls are a major problem for older adults (people who are 65 or older). In fact, 1 out of every 3 older people will fall every year, and once you fall, your chance of falling again doubles. Falls are a major concern, especially for older people who live at home by themselves. Falls cause broken bones, head injuries and anxiety, and more than 700,000 older adults are hospitalized each year because of fall-related injuries. Falls are incredibly common, but some older adults are more likely to fall than others. Certain health conditions make you more likely to fall.

Health conditions that put you at a higher risk for falling:

  • Weakness in the lower body
  • Deficiency of Vitamin D
  • Problems with vision
  • Poor footwear
  • Painful feet
  • Difficulties ambulating or balancing

Health conditions aren’t the only thing that put you at a higher risk for falling. Certain medications, like sedatives, antidepressants and tranquilizers, can increase your risk for falling. There are even several over-the-counter medications that could affect your balance, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before you start taking anything new. Home hazards, like uneven or broken steps, throw rugs, clutter and a lack of handrails in the bathroom, also cause many falls every year.

As you can see, there are many things that can cause falls, and most falls are a result of a combination of them. In our next blog, our in home care providers in Chapel Hill will be talking about a few exercises you can do to improve your balance, so stay tuned!