How to reduce your risk of falling
According to the World Health Organization, 30% of adults 65 and older suffer moderate or severe injuries when they fall.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that falls cause more 2.8 million injuries per year. In 2015, fall injuries cost $50 billion, with Medicare and Medicaid covering about 75% of the cost.
Every 11 seconds, someone is sent to the hospital from a fall. And every 19 minutes, someone dies from one. According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of death for older adults in the U.S.
Katharine Forth, Ph.D., creator of the Zibrio Smartscale, a scale aimed at improving balance, said, “People don't understand that your balance changes every day, and we often don't think about falling down until you're 80.”
So how can you minimize the risk? First, wear non-slip socks around the house and use nonslip mats in your kitchen and bathroom. Or try tai chi. According to Tai Chi for Falls Prevention, any form of tai chi helps as long as it focuses on movement control, weight transference and the balance of mind and body.
The National Institute on Aging also recommends an exercise program. Better Balance for Life: Banish the Fear of Falling with Simple Activities Added to Your Daily Routine by Carol Clements gives a 10-week plan to improve stability with activities such as standing on one leg to brush your teeth or flexing your ankles while watching TV.
“Take action and to be the best version of yourself decades before you even are considered at risk for falling,” Forth said
According to the CDC, falls could cost over $65 billion by 2020.
National Falls Prevention Awareness day is held on the first day of fall every September. The day includes screening activities and offers prevention solutions to older adults.
Contributor(s) to this news report include: Keon Broadnax, Writer and Roque Correa, Editor.
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