Falls happen, and probably much more frequently than most people think. The first step in falls prevention is acknowledging how commonplace a fall is regardless of physical health or age. Once it is understood that falls occur, it is important to educate about the risk factors that contribute to a fall. These risk factors range from physiological to environmental conditions and knowing more about them decreases the likelihood of a fall.
Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries of Americans. But what does this actually mean? Approximately one out of every three people over the age of 65 will fall each year. On average, a senior is treated for a fall related injury every 11 seconds in the United States. With the normal medical bill for a falls-related emergency room visit being $30,000, understanding how frequently falls happen is the first step to preventing them. For more information on local falls data check out the Falls in Washington’s East Region Report.
A fall can happen anytime and anywhere. Aging is often seen as the culprit behind why falls happen, but what about the aging process increases the chance of having a fall? There are numerous physiological and cognitive risk factors that increase as one gets older. Beyond that, there are numerous other factors that increase the likelihood of a fall, many of which can be mitigated. For a list of fall risk factors check out the Fall Prevention Health Topic page.