KUSA - New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the number of deaths from falls for people 65 years and older has gone up 31 percent from 2007 to 2016.
In just 10 years, the number of deaths has skyrocketed from 18,000 deaths per year to almost 30,000 deaths in 2016. If we continue to see the same rate of rise, we can expect up to 59,000 deaths due to a fall for older adults by the year 2030.
What can predispose older adults to falling?
- Medications (e.g., sleep aids, antihistamines, blood pressure, diabetes)
- Chronic conditions (e.g., stroke, arthritis, dementia, high or low blood pressure, diabetes)
- Vision loss
- Muscle weakness and balance issues
- Foot problems
- Environmental hazards (e.g. rugs, stairs, snowy conditions)
What can I do now before I fall?
- Ask for a fall assessment to screen your balance, muscle stability and gait
- Get your vision checked
- Fall-proof your house (e.g. grab rails, mobility aids, removing rugs
- Discuss your medications with your healthcare providers.
- Be extra careful on rainy/snowy days.
Prevention starts right away! It is never too early to fall-proof your house, check your medication list, and get your vision and balance tested.