Health Beat - Fall 2019 - 10

Watch Your Step!
Falls in older adults can be deadly, but
they're also often preventable By James C. Falcon

D

If you are an older adult, falls are a constant concern.
According to a report in the Journal of the American
Medical Association, fatal falls nearly tripled in people ages
75 and older between 2000 and 2016.
In 2016, more than 25,000 people in this age group died after falling.
Nearly 30 percent of people older than 65 fell in 2014, according to the
report, and the risk increases with age. The mortality rates from falls were
much higher for those 95 and older than for those ages 75 to 79.
That said, falls can happen to anyone. Amber Emerson, RN, injury
prevention specialist with Trinity Health and coordinator of Safe Kids
Minot, notes that most falls happen due to tripping or slipping over
something, usually related to hazards that can be easily remedied.
In 2018, half of the injuries requiring hospitalization at Trinity
Hospital were from the result of falls, Emerson says.
Falls are the leading cause of injury in people ages 65 and
older, Emerson says, noting that 1 out of every 3 people in
that age group fall each year.
To help prevent falls, Emerson recommends
the following:

FALL
1 MITIGATE
RISKS AT HOME
Remove area rugs or secure
them to the floor
Remove tripping hazards, such as
clutter, cords, and unnecessary furniture
Watch for changes in thresholds
or flooring height
Keep living areas well lit
Use stairway handrails
Install grab bars in the bathroom tub,
shower, and toilet areas; use a non-slip
bathmat and install a raised toilet seat

10

trinityhealth.org


http://www.trinityhealth.org

Health Beat - Fall 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Health Beat - Fall 2019

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