Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Falls threaten seniors' safety and independence, and generate enormous economic and personal costs. However, falling is not an inevitable result of aging. Through practical lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based falls prevention programs and clinical community partnerships, the number of falls among seniors can be substantially reduced.
There are many reasons why an older adult might fall, including a variety of biological, behavioral, and environmental factors. These risk factors include:
A previous fall
Chronic health conditions (e.g., arthritis, stroke)
Conditions in the home (e.g., slippery floors, loose rugs, cords on the floor, poor lighting)
Poor nutrition (leading to weakness, dizziness, fainting)
Poor vision or hearing
Older adults who have one or more of these conditions may have a higher risk of falling. The following practices are recommended for older adults to reduce their chances of falling and help them stay independent:
Exercising regularly (especially leg strengthening and improving balance)
Having an eye doctor check their vision at least once a year
Making their home environment safer
Reviewing their medicines with a doctor or pharmacist
Additional Information: …to follow…
It is the goal of the Seniors Council Falls Prevention Program to reduce the number of debilitating falls suffered by older adults and persons with disabilities in Santa Cruz and San Benito counties by offering services to help older adults maintain healthy activity levels and providing the tools they need to avoid placing themselves at unnecessary risk. These services consist of:
A Matter of Balance: an eight-session workshop for individuals who live with a fear of falling.
Companion for Life: providing a low-cost emergency response system for at-risk adults in Santa Cruz and San Benito County.
In-Home Risk and Safety Assessments: professional or self-assessment of home to minimize risk of falls.