Falls Prevention

Death rates from falls have risen sharply over the past 10 years, becoming the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults.


  • One out of three adults over age 65 will fall each year, resulting in direct medical costs of about $30 billion annually.
  • In 2010, some 2.3 million seniors were treated in hospital emergency departments following falls, and 21,700 died of injuries sustained in a fall.


  • Residents of assisted living or skilled nursing facilities are twice as likely to fall as those who live independently.
  • Florida, for its part, is well below the national average for fall-related injuries in nursing homes.

Older adults can reduce their chances of falling through various methods:

  • Exercise and stay mobile. Such movement-oriented activities as Tai Chi, stretching and walking can help significantly.
  • Review medications with a physician to identify those that can cause dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Go for regular eye exams, and keep any eyeglass prescriptions up to date.
  • Reduce or eliminate tripping hazards in hallways, add guardrails in showers and bathrooms, and improve lighting in your home.
  • Identify and/or treat osteoporosis.

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