USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
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Falls are the number one cause of injury, hospital visits due to trauma, and death from an injury among people age 65 and older.  It is estimated that one in three older adults falls each year.  Falls among older adults is a serious issue, but research has shown that many fall risks can be reduced.

There are many different factors that can increase the risk of falling.  These include:

• Past falls
• Hazards in the home and community
• Problems walking
• Balance problems
• Weakness
• Improper footwear
• Chronic diseases
• Multiple medications
• Poor vision
• Depression
• Memory problems
• Behaviors like rushing

Because there are many different factors that contribute to falls, there are different recommendations for reducing fall risks.  These include

  • Talking with a health professional to identify and treat medical problems that might lead to falls.  This includes discussing any previous falls with the doctor, reviewing medications with a doctor or pharmacist, and getting vision checked at least once a year.
  • Getting Regular Physical Activity – making a plan to have regular physical activity either in a class or at home. The most effective types of activities to reduce fall risk improve balance, strength, flexibility, and endurance.
  • Being Aware of Safety Hazards in the Home and Community this includes looking at the home to identify fall hazards and making changes for safety, also called home modifications.  It is also important not to rush and to be aware of fall risks when outside.

For fact sheets on various fall prevention topics, click here.

For Fall Prevention Basics, click here.

Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions.