According to the CDC, one out of three older adults (those aged 65 or older) falls each year. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries. In 2010, 2.3 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 662,000 of these patients were hospitalized. In 2010, the direct medical costs of falls, adjusted for inflation, was $30 billion.
There are steps older adults can take to help prevent falls:
1. Exercise Regularly.
2. Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medications with them.
3. Have their vision checked and eyeglass Rx updated at least once a year.
4. Make their home safer by removing hazards like throw rugs, installing grab bars/railings and nightlights.
A Fall Risk Assessment like the one demonstrated in this video may also help identify individuals at risk for future falls. It is a simple screening tool that can be performed in a physician’s office or health fair and is offered at Orlando Sports Medicine in our Physical Therapy Clinics.