Falls can happen anytime and anywhere to people of any age. However, as people get older, the number of falls and the severity of injury resulting from falls increases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in people age 65 and older. Common injuries due to falls are head injuries, shoulder and forearm fractures, spine fractures, pelvic fractures, and hip fractures.
There is a pattern to falls among the elderly: First comes the fear of falling, then the injury, followed by hospitalization, decreased independence and mobility and, often, relocation to a nursing or residential institution.
A fall can be a major life-changing event that robs an elderly person of his or her independence. Fortunately, many falls can be prevented with healthy lifestyle choices and safety modifications in the home.