According to the World Health Organization, 30% of adults 65 and older suffer moderate or severe injuries when they fall. And the CDC reports that falls cause more 2.8 million injuries per year. In 2015, fall injuries cost $50 billion with Medicare and Medicaid covering about 75% of the costs.
Every 11 seconds, someone is sent to the hospital from a fall. And every 19 minutes, someone dies from one. According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of death for older adults in the U.S.
Katharine Forth PhD, creator of the Zibrio Smartscale, says, "People don't understand that your balance changes every day. And we often don't think about falling down until you're 80."
So how can you minimize the risk? Wear non-slip socks around the house and use nonslip mats in your kitchen and bathroom.
Try tai chi! Studies show any form of tai chi helps as long as it focuses on movement control, weight transference and the balance of mind and body.
The National Institute on Aging also recommends an exercise program. "Better Balance for Life" by Carol Cements gives a ten-week plan to improve stability with activities such as standing on one leg to brush your teeth or flexing your ankles while watching TV and the best advice.
"Take action and to be the best version of yourself decades before you even are considered at risk for falling," Forth said.
According to NCOA, falls could cost over $65 billion by 2020. National Falls Prevention Awareness Day is an event that is held on the first day of fall every September. The day includes screening activities and it offers solutions to older adults for prevention.