Each year, one out of every three people over the age of 65 has a fall. Falls are the leading cause of death from injury for people 65 years or older. The most common form of injury from a fall is a hip fracture.
The emotional effects of a fall can be devastating. Fear of falling again can cause a person to restrict his or her activities, resulting in feelings of loss, loneliness, and helplessness. Avoiding activity because of fear and anxiety can actually increase the risk of falling again.
Here are five things you can do to help avoid a fall:
- Try not to contribute to the fear of falling by putting too many restrictions on activities.
- Encourage regular exercise and enjoyable activities that promote independence. A primary goal of fall prevention is maintaining and encouraging independence.
- Medical conditions that contribute to falls should be treated by the doctor. Vision and hearing should be checked regularly.
- Remove hazards in and around the home. Alert visitors to hazards that cannot be removed, such as oxygen tubing.
- Don’t assume that falls and the problems that lead to falls are a natural, unavoidable part of the aging process.
Download the fall prevention checklist