Each year, millions of older adults experience a fall, and over half do not tell their doctors. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 adults aged 65 and over fall each year. While many do not cause injuries, 1 in 5 lead to serious injuries like broken bones or head injuries. A single fall is not always a sign of underlying health issues, but subsequent issues with balance or coordination within a 6-month window should be evaluated for treatable causes.
Why are falls in the elderly so dangerous?
Accidental falls are the leading cause of injury and death among seniors, especially those aged 75 years and older. Why? Bone density naturally declines with age, which means broken bones are more likely. If an elderly person has pre-existing disabilities or medical complications like heart disease, even a seemingly minor fall can result in severe injuries.
How to prevent falls in the elderly
To reduce the likelihood of a dangerous fall, the geriatric specialists at Pomona Valley Health Centers encourages older adults to:
- Exercise regularly
Maintaining a regular exercise routine can not only strengthen muscles, but also help improve balance, endurance and coordination.
- Get regular vision check-ups
Weak eyesight and blurry vision can lead to accidental trips, tumbles and falls. Be sure to visit an optometrist for regular vision screenings to ensure you’re seeing as clearly as possible.
- Review your medications
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your current medications to help you identify any that may cause dizziness or drowsiness and, if possible, help you find alternatives.
- Make your home safer
Find and remove anything in your home that could cause a trip or tumble (e.g., loose rugs, clutter, etc.). Add grip bars as needed in bathrooms and stairways as well as nonskid mats to your shower and in front of your kitchen sink.
- Turn on the lights
Be sure hallways and stairways are adequately lit to help you avoid any missteps, and turn on your lights if you get up in the middle of the night to help ensure your safety.
If you or a loved one has experienced a fall, please visit the Pomona valley Health Centers urgent care for an evaluation. No appointments necessary.
PVHC Urgent Care locations and hours
8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday – Friday
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekends and most holidays
Chino Hills Crossroads
3110 Chino Avenue, Suite 150
Chino Hills, CA 91709
Directions from CA-71: View Location
1601 Monte Vista Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711
Directions from the 10 FWY: View Location
2333 Foothill Boulevard
La Verne, CA 91750
Directions from the 210 FWY: View Location