Facts about Falls
Falls are the number one cause of injury, hospital visits due to trauma, and death from an injury among people age 65 and older. It is estimated that one in three older adults falls each year. Falls among older adults is a serious issue, but research has shown that many fall risks can be reduced.
Falls by older people are almost always associated with weakened leg muscles and poor balance.
There are many different factors that can increase the risk of falling. These include:
• Past falls
• Hazards in the home and community
• Problems walking
• Balance problems
• Improper footwear
• Chronic diseases
• Multiple medications
• Poor vision
• Memory problems
• Behaviours like rushing
Because there are many different factors that contribute to falls, there are different recommendations for reducing falls. These include :
- Talking with a Health Professional - to identify and treat medical problems that might lead to falls. This includes discussing any previous falls with the doctor, reviewing medications with a doctor or pharmacist, and getting vision checked at least once a year.
- Getting Regular Physical Activity – making a plan to have regular physical activity either in a class or at home. The most effective types of activities to reduce fall risk improve balance, strength, flexibility, and endurance.
- Being Aware of Safety Hazards in the Home and Community – this includes looking at the home to identify fall hazards and making changes for safety, also called home modifications. It is also important not to rush and to be aware of fall risks when outside.
A significant proportion of falls can be prevented.
TRY Steady as you go© or Tai chi now
Thousands of people fall each year - most of these falls happen in the community and are preventable. This video looks at building strength and flexibility to keep people safe on their feet.
Falling over isn't part of the ageing process. Many falls are preventable, and we want to help you stay on your feet and living the life you want to live. Check out Live Stronger For Longer.
Tai Chi for Arthritis – Published 2016 Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
The largest study of Tai Chi for Arthritis, by Professor Leigh Callahan and colleages from the University of North Carolina, shows significant health benefits for people with all types of arthritis. This landmark study was publised at the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 2016. Medical research