According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every three adults 65 years or older falls each year with less than half reporting the fall to their medical doctor or healthcare worker. In my experience, many adults do not feel it is necessary to report their fall unless they have a serious injury. However, amoung older adults FALLS are the leading cause of both FATAL AND NON FATAL injuries.
Not only is it important to notify your medical doctor when you have a fall or feel unsteady it is important for you to make simple modifications within your home to reduce your risk of falling. Removing throw rugs, removing any cords which you could trip over, and installing grab bars are just a few things you can modify within your home to reduce your fall risk. In addition, you want to make sure you are getting your eyes checked regulary (once per year) and obtaining a proper fitting assisted device if needed. A physical therapist can come into your home to perform a home safety evaluation if warrented as well.
Please do not wait to make these changes, especially if you have already fallen or have lost your balance within your home. Remember to always let your medical doctor or healthcare worker know if you are having any balance issues. The risk of falling can be greatly reduced by the above modifications and with exercises prescribed by a physical therapist. For more information please visit the below link.
Jessica Kinsey, DPT
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls among older adults: an overview.http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/adultfalls.html. Accesssed October 30, 2013.