Each year, approximately one third of all senior adults in the U.S. fall, and the likelihood of their falling increases substantially with each year of age. Nearly 16,000 people 65 years of age or older died as a result of injuries from falls in 2005 alone. The number of older adults who fall without injury or who don’t seek medical care is unknown. These findings were recently published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
To estimate how frequently a wide range of falls normally occurs among U.S. seniors, CDC researchers analyzed 2006 fall injury data. Among their findings were the following:
Exercise is one of the most important ways to reduce your chances of falling. It makes you stronger and helps you feel better. Exercises that improve balance and coordination (like Tai Chi) are the most helpful.
Lack of exercise leads to weakness and increases your chances of falling.
Ask your doctor or health care worker about the best type of exercise program for you.
2. Make your home safer.
About half of all falls happen at home. To make your home safer:
3. Have your health care provider review your medicines.
Have your doctor or pharmacist look at all the medicines you take (including ones that don’t need prescriptions such as cold medicines). As you get older, the way some medicines work in your body can change. Some medicines, or combinations of medicines, can make you drowsy or light-headed which can lead to a fall.
4. Have your vision checked. Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor. You may be wearing the wrong glasses or have a condition such as glaucoma or cataracts that limits your vision. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling.”
Previously on the DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:
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