According to the National Council on Aging, 1 in 4 Americans aged 65+ falls every year, and falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for American older adults. And the financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages and may reach more than $101 billion by 2030.
These are frightening statistics, but the good news is that falls are not a normal or inevitable part of aging– there are simple steps you can take today to reduce your risk or that of someone you love.
September has been designated “National Falls Prevention Month,” to bring attention to helping older adults and their family caregivers to prevent falls with simple fall prevention measures, from reviewing your medications to hazard-proofing your home.
Physical changes and health conditions, and sometimes the medications used to treat those conditions, can make falls more likely as you age. Falls are costly — in dollars and in quality of life — but there are simple things that you can do to prevent them:
- Exercise to improve balance and strength
- Have your health care provider review your medications
- Have your vision checked
- Make your home safer
AGE of Central Texas provides free year-round falls prevention classes through its CaregiverU program. The evidence-based class series “A Matter of Balance,” along with the new virtual 2-class program “Empowering YOU to Prevent Falls,” both emphasizes practical strategies to manage falls and maintain an active, healthy lifestyle.
To find a free falls prevention class near you, visit http://www.CaregiverUcentx.org.