How Can Falls be Prevented in Older Adults?
September 27th 2021
Did you know that falls among adults aged 65 and older are common and costly? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults .
In 2018, the state which reported the highest percentage of older adults who fell was Texas at 33.9%, compared to Hawaii which reported the lowest at 20.0% . In Canada, the numbers are similar, as the Second Report on Senior’s Falls in Canada showed that between 20% and 30% of older adults fall each year . Along with the physical and mental consequences that may arise from a fall, the associated cost is substantial. In the United States, non-fatal fall injuries result in about $50 billion being spent for associated costs, and $754 million is spent in relation to fatal falls . In Canada, the cost of falls in older adults is estimated to be $2 billion annually .
Given the serious consequences of falls, there are numerous recommendations on how we can prevent falls. Anyone can experience a fall, but as we age, the risk increases. Some recommendations for fall prevention include [5, 6]:
Ensure that the bathroom has non-slip surfaces in the tub or shower;
Reduce clutter in the living room and bedroom, such as loose wires or cords;
Store kitchen supplies, pots, pans etc. in easy to reach locations;
Keep your stairs well lit, and with proper handrails on both sides;
Keep the exterior of your house in good repair, including the steps and walkway, and the entrance way well lit;
Eat healthy meals, use safety aids and wear the proper footwear;
Review your medicines with your doctor or pharmacist; for side-effects including dizziness;
Incorporate strength and balance exercises into your daily routine after consulting with a professional;
Ensure your eyes have been checked recently by an optometrist and that your prescription is up to date and appropriate.
WHY LISKE? Fall prevention is particularly important as it pertains to premise liability. As such. when an incident results in a bodily injury, the parties that own and maintain the premises where it occurred may be held responsible to the injured party for damages. LISKE Injury Biomechanics experts will apply their understanding of anatomy, human kinetics and physics to any premise liability claim including slips, trips, falls and missteps, workplace accidents and assault to determine injury causation.
 Florence CS, Bergen G, Atherly A, Burns ER, Stevens JA, Drake C. Medical Costs of Fatal and Nonfatal Falls in Older Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2018 March, DOI:10.1111/jgs.15304