Many older adults living in North Carolina have certain risk factors that make them more likely to fall than younger individuals. Many older adults also face certain environmental hazards that make them more prone to falling, many of which are preventable. Because falls have become the leading cause of injury and fatality among older adults, learning how to prevent them is an important part of keeping this demographic safe.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an older adult falls every second in the United States. Furthermore, more than 95% of hip fractures suffered by older adults are the result of slip-and-fall incidents.
What causes older adults to fall
The number of adults 65 and over continues to grow, and the number of adults 65 and older is rising alongside it. Many different factors make older adults more likely to fall, including vision problems, balance issues and the use of certain prescription medications. Environmental factors that often contribute to falls include cluttered hallways or stairways, wet floors, potholes and loose wires, among others. Many older adults living in nursing homes also fall when they do not get the mobility assistance they need from nursing home staff.
How to reduce fall hazards
Doctors may be able to advise older adults about what they might do to reduce their specific fall hazards. However, older adults may want to undergo vision screenings, remove fall hazards from their homes and participate in Tai Chi or similar physical activities known to improve balance and coordination.
Many serious injuries result from older adult falls, including broken bones, hip fractures and head injuries.