The Missouri Senior Report identified injuries from falls as the number one cause of death or nursing home admission in Platte County.
Falls are not a normal part of aging and can be prevented
Risk Factors for Falling:
- Lack of Exercise
- Household Tripping Hazards
- Use of Four or More Medications
- Balance Disorders
- Visual or Hearing Impairment
- Alcohol or Psychotropic Drug Use
How can older adults prevent falls?
Older adults can remain independent and reduce their chances of falling. They can:
- Exercise regularly. It is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and that they get more challenging over time. Tai Chi programs are especially good.
- Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines—both prescription and over-the counter—to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.
- Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update their eyeglasses to maximize their vision. Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.
- Make their homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways and improving the lighting in their homes.
To lower their hip fracture risk, older adults can:
- Get adequate calcium and vitamin D—from food and/or from supplements.
- Do weight bearing exercise.
- Get screened and, if needed, treated for osteoporosis.
Great resources can be found at these web sites:
Senior Falls Prevention Coalition
of Clay and Platte Counties
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
CDC 24/7: Saving Lives. Protecting People.™
For more information, contact: