The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported more than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor.
- One in five falls causes serious injury, such as a broken bone or head injury
- Three million American seniors are treated in the emergency room for falls each year
- Women fall more often than men and account for three-quarters of all hip fractures.
Falls can lead to broken bones, head injury or fear of another fall, and that fear may cause a person to be less active. The good news is many falls may be prevented by addressing the following risk factors:
- Lower body weakness
- Not enough vitamin D
- Difficulty with walking and balance
- Medications that affect balance
- Vision problems
- Foot pain or poor footwear
- Home hazards, such as throw rugs, uneven steps or clutter
Risks can be lessened by taking the following steps:
- Talk to your doctor, who can evaluate your risk for falls, review your medications or discuss adding vitamin D to your diet.
- Do strength and balance exercises.
- Have your hearing and vision checked annually.
- Have your feet checked.
- Make your home safer by removing throw rugs, adding grab bars, adding brighter light bulbs to provide more lighting, using nonslip mats and keeping most-used items within reach in your cabinets to avoid using a stepstool.
If you’re a Blue Cross member, check out Blue365 deals where you can find discounts and deals on medical alert jewelry, footwear, and vision/hearing products.
Learn more about fall prevention in this Blue Cross Virtual Well-BeingSM webinar. You can also sign up for future employer-focused and general interest webinars here, where you’ll find past sessions and resources. Related:
- Navigating the Menopause Journey
- Understanding the Causes of Urinary Incontinence
- The Oral Health and Well-Being Connection
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