September 22, 2017
Each year, it’s estimated that one out of three Americans aged 65 or older will suffer a fall, leaving many of these adults with a fear of falling that can cause them to limit physical activities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an older adult in the U.S. is treated in the ER for a fall-related injury every 14 seconds and dies from a fall-related injury every 29 minutes. This leads to reduced mobility and diminished quality of life, and actually increases their risk of falling. In addition, as the population ages, falls put an immense strain on the health care system, with the financial toll expected to reach $67.7 billion by 2020.
The good news is that falls are preventable. With a focus on healthy aging, the Y is committed to helping older adults learn their fall risk and access programs that can help them reduce their risk for falls. Click here to find a program near you. The first step to prevention is understanding risk. Older adults can assess their fall risk by taking a simple test here. Through this assessment, individuals can learn how routine activities and other factors help determine their risk for falls.
The CDC suggests these basic lifestyle and safety changes to help reduce risk or prevent falls: