Right now, you who have been reading TGB for awhile, are likely groaning: Is she really going to go through the falls prevention thing again? Really?
Well, yes. Twice a year I post a reminder and time-proven advice to help us all avoid falling. I do it because it can save our lives.
Today is the first day of fall, the day the U.S. National Council on Aging chose for its annual reminders about preventing falls. This year there is some updated research that is not encouraging:
Mortality From Falls Among US Adults Aged 75 Years or Older, 2000-2016 is a study published in June 2019 in the medical journal JAMA.
The researchers discovered that the number of deaths from falls among people 75 and older more than doubled between 2000 and 2016. As The New York Times noted in its report of the study:
”In 2016, the rate of death from falls for people 75 and older was 111 per 100,000 people, they found. In 2000, that rate was 52 per 100,000 people.”
That's a huge jump in fatal falls. The study states that the researchers do not understand the increase.
Earlier statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state them differently:
Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall
Every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall
Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths
Obviously, those numbers will increase if the new statistics from JAMA are applied.
So what can you do to help keep yourself safe from falls. Here is a short, well-done video I've posted before – from the U.S. National Council on Aging:
This year I've discovered an excellent website about fall prevention that I had not seen before: Health in Aging.org. It is extraordinarily clear, concise and useful. Here are links to the main sections:
That is not the only good site on this subject - there is an abundance of information online about falls prevention. We should make good use of it because unlike cancer, dementia, COPD, heart disease and other conditions that affect so many elders, we can each have a direct effect on preventing falls.