By Lisa Tseng, MD
The National Council on Aging reports that falling is the most common injury that leads to death in older Americans. Falling threatens a senior’s safety and independence. One-third of Americans aged 65+ falls each year. Falling, with or without an injury, has a significant impact on quality of life. A growing number of older adults are afraid of falling, so they limit their activities and social engagements to prevent this. Avoiding activities and social functions can contribute to depression, feelings of helplessness and physical decline.
Did you know?
✔ Every 15 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 29 minutes, an adult dies following a fall.
✔ People with a mild hearing loss are nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling. The risk is greater with greater hearing loss. When people can’t hear well, they may not have a good awareness of their surroundings, increasing the chance of tripping and falling.
Here are some ways you can reduce your risk of falling:
✔ Exercise regularly, especially do exercises that improve balance and coordination.
✔ Review your medicines with your healthcare provider – some medicines can make you sleepy or dizzy.
✔ Have your vision checked at least once a year, as poor vision can worsen your risk.
✔ Have your hearing tested annually, and use hearing aids when recommended.
For information on hearing testing and affordable, high quality, custom-programmed hearing aids call toll-free at 855-523-9355 to find a provider near you.