Fall Risks 

All interventions by HomeSafe for Seniors are based on the recommendations of research detailing the most effective ways to increase home safety and to decrease the risk of falls.

According to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • An adult over 65 falls every second of every day.

 

  • 1 in 4 older adults fall every year.

  • 6 out of 10 falls occur within the home, and most are caused by environmental hazards.

  • 20-30% of older adults who fall incur moderate to severe injuries.

  • Falls cause 95% of hip fractures, usually from falling sideways.

  • Falls are the most common cause for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in adults 65 or older.

  • Each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.

  • Falls are the leading cause of hospital and nursing home admissions in older adults

 

Multiple studies have shown that each of the following conditions or factors increase the risk of falling:

  • environmental hazards

  • impaired cognition, vision, balance, gait, or muscle strength

  • drop in blood pressure upon standing/dizziness

  • use of medications for sleep, pain, mood, or blood pressure

  • treatment with four or more prescription medications

  • loose or improper footwear

  • Vitamin D deficiency 

The good news is that research has also shown that the majority of falls are preventable. The more risk factors that are addressed, the less the likelihood of falling.

Modifiable risk factors:

  • Home hazards

  • Unsafe behaviors during daily tasks

  • Lower body weakness

  • Difficulty with gait and balance

  • Problems with footwear

  • Postural hypotension/dizziness when changing positions

  • Vitamin D deficiency

  • Medications

Effective fall prevention can involve the cooperation of multiple health care practitioners to address the various factors that cause falls. Occupational therapists address home hazards, unsafe habits, and adaptive devices; physical therapists address impaired gait, balance, and lower body strength; and physicians oversee all care and address medical issues and management of medications that could contribute to falls. 

© 2019 by HomeSafe for Seniors LLC