Risk factors for falls

Several news outlets recently reported on a new study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society that studied the risk factors for falling among seniors. Approximately 40% of people aged 65 or older fall each year. Whereas most studies just look at falls indoors, this report looked at falls that occur both inside and outside of your home.

Here’s a brief summary of the study’s findings:

  • Risk factors for indoor falls included being female, older age, inactive lifestyle, disability, having lower cognitive function, taking more medications, and overall poorer health.
  • Risk factors for outdoor falls included being male, being younger and more physically active, having more education, and having average or better-than-average health.
  • Among all the falls that were recorded, 9.5% resulted in serious injury, including 10.2% of indoor falls and 9% of outdoor falls.
  • The majority of outdoor falls occurred on hard concrete surfaces, including sidewalks, streets, curbs, outdoors stairs, and parking lots.
  • Fourteen percent of outdoor falls occurred in yards or gardens.

From this list, it’s clear that we’re all at some risk of falling: you’re either male or female, younger or older, active or inactive, healthy or not. The key is to make sure that when you fall, you can get help as quickly as possible.

LifeStation’s medical alert system works inside and around your house. As soon as you press the LifeStation button, our monitoring center is notified. If we are unable to communicate with you, we’ll immediately put your personalized emergency plan into action.

To ensure that help is available if you fall, always wear your help button when you’re at home. Also consider installing inexpensive bathroom and hallway buttons around your home.

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