Fall Prevention

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SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES of FALLS/SLIPS

  • Are more common than strokes and can be just as serious in their consequences
  • Are the most preventable cause of nursing home placement
  • Lead to problems with daily activities like dressing, bathing, walking, and basic mobility

Among adults 70 years and older:

  • 3 in 10 fall each year
  • 2 in 10 who need home health care after being in the hospital will fall during the first month after coming home
  • 1 in 10 suffer a serious fall injury such as a broken bone or head injury
  • 5 in 10 have problems getting up without help after they have fallen
  • Falls cause over 90% of broken hips; 50% will never regain pre-injury functional capacity
  • In the United States, 16 percent of all Emergency Department visits and almost 7 percent of all hospitalizations are for fall-related injuries

PREVENTABLE

Many of the health problems that increase the chance of falling are known and are treatable, especially when using brain-based therapies and nutritional support.

The common health problems & hazards for falling are:

  • Decreased basic mobility such as: walking, bending, balance, driving, etc.
  • Decreased Body Position Sense, such as awareness of one's foot position-TRIP HAZARD
  • 4 or more medications (see chart below)
  • foot problems, unsafe footwear
  • blood pressure drops too rapidly upon rising causing dizziness, vertigo, and/or lightheadedness
  • problems with seeing and coordination of balance and visual systems (nightlight, steps)
  • tripping hazards in your home
  • blood pressure dropping rapidly upon standing or quick head movements

The good news is that you can decrease the chance of falling by improving these problems. A study conducted in Connecticut, funded by the National Institute on Aging, found that treating as many of these problems as possible decreased the likelihood of falling

As shown in the figure below, the more of these problems an older adult has, the greater the chance of falling.

More Health Problems* = greater chance of falling this year  

 

 

If your number of health problems is: Your chance of falling is:
 
0   (1 person in 10 will fall)
 
1   (2 people in 10 will fall)
 
2   (3 people in 10 will fall)
 
3   (6 people in 10 will fall)
 
4 or More   (8 people in 10 will fall)