Worried about falling, slipping or tripping around the house? You should be. Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls. Twenty to thirty percent of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as lacerations, hip fractures, or head traumas. These injuries can make it hard to get around or live independently, and increase the risk of early death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries.
- In 2013, about 25,500 older adults died from fall injuries.
- In 2013, 2.5 million nonfatal falls among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 734,000 of these patients were hospitalized.
- Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls. The most common are fractures of the spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand.
- Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
- Many people who fall, even if they are not injured, develop a fear of falling. This fear may cause them to limit their activities, leading to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, which in turn increases their actual risk of falling.
- The chances of falling and of being seriously injured in a fall increase with age.
- Men are more likely than women to die from a fall. After taking age into account, the fall death rate is approximately 40% higher for men than for women.