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. The central chapter and North County chapter each meet once per month. Our mission is to reduce falls and their devastating consequences.
Central Chapter: 2nd Tuesday of each month from 1:00 PM- 2:00 PM
County Operation Center
5560 Overland Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123 -
Aging and Independence Services, Third Floor
*Please check in at front desk upon arrival
North County Chapter: 3rd Tuesday of each month, from 1:00 - 2:00
Tri-City Wellness Center
6250 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, CA 92009
(Conference room is just off the main foyer near the café.)
The Fall Prevention Task Force also hosts a Speaker’s Bureau that provides 30-60 minute presentations for groups titled Fall Prevention For Seniors.
If you would like to join the Fall Prevention Task Force email distribution list contact or request a presentation from the Fall Prevention Speakers Bureau please contact Carolyn Proskow at Carolyn.Proskow@sdcounty.ca.gov