(RxWiki News) Did you know an older adult falls every second of every day?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the number one cause of injury and death from injury among older Americans.
A new report published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report revealed that, in 2014, 29 million falls reportedly occurred and caused 7 million injuries. Furthermore, this cost the United States more than $30 billion in annual Medicare costs.
In other words, 1 out of 4 older Americans falls each year. The number of fall-related injuries and deaths is estimated to keep increasing. That said, older adults can take simple steps to prevent a fall.
First, speak with your health care provider about your risk for falls and how to best prevent these incidents. In addition, tell your health care provider if you have had a recent fall — less than half of those who experience a fall tell their health care provider about it, according to the CDC.
Some risk factors for falls include inactivity, reduced muscle strength and severe chronic health conditions.
Another essential step: Speak with your health care provider or pharmacist about medications that may increase your risk of falling. Several medications can raise the risk.
Other steps include getting your eyes checked at least once a year; trying a program like tai chi, which may improve balance and increase leg strength; and getting rid of any falling hazards in your home.