Have you or a loved one slipped or fallen recently?
You are not alone, one in four older adults (65+) fall each year and as we get older we are more likely to fall. In 2016, over 20,000 older adults were treated and discharged from the Emergency Department and an additional 7,000 were admitted for inpatient care in San Diego alone.
So, why are older adults more likely to fall? There are many different risk factors and most of these become more common in older people. Risk factors include:
- Balance and mobility problems
- Medical conditions and medications
- Poor Vision
- Environmental hazards.
The good news is that many falls are preventable, and you CAN reduce your risk of falling!
Steps to Prevent Falls:
- Stay active to improve your strength, flexibility, and balance. Walking, dancing, Tai Chi and exercise classes are all good ways to improve your health. Depending on your medical or surgical history, your doctor may refer you to a Physical Therapist who can help you start an exercise program. Talk with your doctor about the best approach for you.
- Talk with your doctor about health issues, such as osteoporosis, your Vitamin D level, medications, difficulty with hearing or vision, or if you feel faint, off-balance or dizzy. If you have dizzy spells, your doctor may recommend you see a specialist for help. Your doctor or pharmacist can also look at your medications to check for side effects that can make you dizzy or affect your coordination. Don't forget to ask about over-the-counter medicines like allergy medications, sleep aids and pain killers.
- Have your vision checked at least one time per year by a professional. Vision can change so slowly that we do not even notice it.
- Make your home safer, remove things you could trip or slip on, maintain good lighting and nightlights, and install strong grab bars and handrails. As we age, our eyes often need more light than we realize.
More information on local community resources and programs to prevent falls is available in our resource guide below. Ask your physician's office or other health provider to use this website to identify resources that are appropriate for you. Please scroll down and click on the links to see our resources for seniors and service providers.
If you are a provider please scroll down for provider resources and consider joining our Fall Prevention Task Force, meeting details listed below.
San Diego Fall Prevention Task Force:
The County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency, Aging & Independence Services, sponsors the San Diego Fall Prevention Task Force. The Task Force includes older adults and service providers. Our mission is to reduce falls and their devastating consequences in San Diego County.
3rd Tuesday of the month | 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Due to current restrictions on large gatherings, meetings are occurring virtually until further notice. To receive meeting notifications and details, please e-mail HealthierLiving.HHSA@sdcounty.ca.gov or call (858) 495-5500.
Fall Prevention Awareness Week 2020
In observance of Fall Prevention Awareness Week, Aging & Independence Services, the San Diego Fall Prevention Task Force, and Scripps Health hosted a variety of free, informative virtual workshops in September. Workshops covered a range of topics and were viewed by older adults, caregivers, service providers, and healthcare professionals.