Preventing Falls Among Older Americans

Falls are the leading cause of injuries to older people in the United States. Each year, more than 11 million senior citizens fall – that’s one of every three people over 65. The number of falls and the severity of injury increase with age. While some risk factors for falls, such as heredity and age, cannot be changed, several risk factors can be eliminated or reduced.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has developed numerous guidelines to help you be most prepared to prevent falls. A sample of these guidelines for older adults are:

  • Begin an exercise program to increase strength and balance.
  • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
  • Remove things that can be easily tripped over.
  • Improve lighting in the home.
  • Wear Shoes with good support and non-slip soles.

AAOS has developed a number of other guidelines, including exercise and monitoring medication usage, to help you avoid falls. See them here.

The AAOS also provides a number of Tips For Your Home, including all major areas like the bathroom, living room, bedroom, kitchen and steps and stairs.