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Every year, thousands of older adults fall and hurt themselves. Falls are one of the main causes of injury and loss of independence in people ages 65 and older.
There are many reasons older people fall. They may lose their footing when stepping off a street curb. Or they may fall after getting dizzy from taking medicines. Some falls may be related to the effects of aging, such as muscle weakness or delayed reflexes. Or falls may be related to the results of a stroke.
Experts agree that some falls in older adults can be prevented. But since each person's risks are a bit different, talk to your doctor about which of the tips below might help you.
For a complete list of hazards to look for
and fix at home, see the
checklist for preventing falls(What is a PDF document?).
Other Works Consulted
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and American Academy of Pediatrics (2010). Falls and traumatic injuries in the elderly patient. In JF Sarwark, ed., Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care, 4th ed., pp. 96–100. Rosemont, IL: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Graham P, et al. (2010). Fall reduction strategies section of The prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. In WR Frontera, ed., DeLisa’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, vol. 1, pp. 994–996. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
August 16, 2013
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
& Elizabeth A. Phelan, MD, MS - Geriatric Medicine
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