Fall Prevention As We Age: What Can We Do?
By: Lisa Baxter, Aging Services Specialist
Did you know that one in four older Americans falls every year? Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people aged 65+. They can result in hip fractures, broken bones, and head injuries. And even falls without a major injury can cause an older adult to become fearful or depressed, making it difficult to stay active.
If you have an aging parent, grandparent, or neighbor in your life, helping them reduce their risk of falling is a great way to help them stay healthy and independent as long as possible. The good news about falls is that most of them can be prevented. The key is to know where to look.
Here are some common factors that can lead to a fall:
• Balance and gait: As we age, most of us lose some coordination, flexibility, and
balance— primarily through inactivity.
• Vision: In the aging eye, less light reaches the retina—making contrasting edges, tripping hazards, and obstacles harder to see.
• Medications: Some prescriptions and...