Fatal Falls Among Older Adults Rising at an Alarming Rate


Fatal falls among adults 65 and older have risen 112 percent since 1999, according to the 2014 edition of Injury Facts. More than 21,600 deaths in 2010 were attributed to falls among this age group, accounting for eight out of every 10 fatal falls in the United States.

"For older adults, falls and the resulting injuries can diminish their ability to lead active, independent lives," said Deborah Hersman, NSC president and CEO. "Identifying potential fall hazards and making changes to improve your strength, balance, and vision can help reduce your risk of a fall at any age."

June is National Safety Month, and the National Safety Council is calling on Americans to recognize the potential fall risks for themselves and the older adults in their lives. These tips can help prevent falls:

>>Stay active, and exercise to increase core strength and balance
>>Review medications, and be aware of those with side effects that can make you drowsy or lightheaded
>>Get your vision checked--poor vision can lead to falls
>>Remove tripping hazards (papers, books, clothes, shoes) from stairs and places you walk
>>Clean up all spills immediately and keep the floor dry
>>Keep frequently used items in cabinets you can reach easily without using a step stool
>>Install grab bars next to your toilet and in your tub/shower
>>Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors
>>Improve lighting in your home, including using a nightlight
>>Install handrails and lights on all staircases
>>Wear shoes with good support that have non-slip soles

National Safety Month encourages safe behaviors to prevent the leading causes of unintentional injuries and deaths. The Council's National Safety Month campaign "Safety: it takes all of us" includes free downloadable materials to help spread important safety messages. Visit nsc.org/nsm to get involved.

Source: National Safety Council, nsc.org