Falls are Leading Cause of Injury & Death in Older Americans

Falls are the No. 1 cause of injuries and deaths from injury among older Americans. In 2014, a total of 29 million falls among older Americans caused 7 million injuries and cost an estimated $31 billion, CDC reports. “Older adult falls are increasing and, sadly, often herald the end of independence,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. To help reduce falls among older adults, CDC has developed the Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI) initiative to help health care providers make fall prevention routine. The program includes information on how to screen for falls; online training for providers; videos on how to conduct functional assessments; and informational brochures for providers, patients, and caregivers. There are several simple steps older individuals can take to help prevent a fall, including talking to their health care provider about falls and fall prevention, talking to their provider or pharmacist about medications that make them more likely to fall, having their eyes checked every year, participating in evidence-based programs that can improve balance and strengthen the legs, and getting rid of fall hazards in the home.