With a third of people age 65 and older reporting a fall each year and two-thirds of that number falling again within six months, falling poses a significant risk to seniors in their daily lives. In fact, falling is the most common cause of injury-related deaths in those age 65 and older and leads to the majority of their lifetime injury costs.1 Falling can cause traumatic injuries, most commonly hip fractures, which often lead to hip replacement surgery. These joint implants, while becoming more and more common, have dangers associated with the many recent hip replacement recalls. The risk of hip fracture dramatically increases with age: among people 65 to 69, one out of every 200 falls causes a hip fracture, a number that jumps to one out of every 10 falls in people 85 and older.2 Shockingly, a fourth of those who fracture their hip die within 6 months.3 While that statistic is affected by a variety of factors, not least of which is the age of the individual involved, hip fractures are serious injuries and all care possible should be taken to minimize the risk.
Fear of falling causes many elderly people to restrict their day-to-day activities, but drastic steps aren’t always needed. Many falls can be avoided by taking action to secure areas in and around the home, allowing people to continue to lead the lives they want to without fear.
The first step toward preventing falls is understanding what causes them.
The next step is knowing places where hazards most often occur, and where seniors are most likely to encounter them.
Gardens and yards, while an excellent source of exercise and fresh air, can be risky too. Grass and mud can conceal uneven ground, tree roots, garden implements left outside, or other potential causes of a fall. And while a fall on grass may not seem as bad as one on asphalt, it can still cause serious injury.