For most people reading this, it is probably not news that falls can be very serious for older adults. I found some surprising statistics on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Which prompted a this two-part post on balance issues, the prevalence of falls in older adults, how to reduce falls in the home, and a few Aging-Matters-Style pointers on how to do a fall prevention “sweep” in the home.
Some surprising points covered in the CDC’s fact sheet on falls:
- Falls are the leading cause of death among adults 65 and older.
- Over the past 10 years, fall related deaths have risen sharply among older men and women.
- Moderate to severe injuries (ie. lacerations, hip fractures and head trauma) occur in 20 to 30% of the falls reported. Many falls aren’t reported at all.
- Almost 20,000 fall related deaths were reported in 2008
- In 2009 2.2 million non-fatal falls were treated in U.S. Emergency rooms.
- Falls can be a downward spiral. Injuries and the fear that result from falling can limit individuals’ activities. This can lead to reduced mobility and reduced physical fitness which then increases the risks of further falls.
- Men fall more than women but women experience fractures more often then men. Continue reading