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The answer is falls. Falls among adults 65 and older caused more than 36,000 deaths in 2020.1 An increasing number of older adults also are suffering from injuries caused by falls. Furthermore, the cost of treatment for these injuries is increasing.2 What can you do about this? Here is a list of important things to discuss with your physician:
- The American Geriatrics Society recommends annual falls and instability screenings in patients 65 and older.2
- Conditions can increase risk of falls and require physician interaction, such as:
- Vestibular balance disorder is a condition of the ear, where you can feel dizzy and like you are about to fall.4
- Vitamin D insufficiency can be linked to muscle weakness, loss of bone strength, falls and fractures.4 Fractures can be of the hip and bones within the feet.
- Orthostatic (postural) hypotension is an excessive drop in blood pressure when you take an upright position.4 The drop in blood pressure can be greater than 20 mm Hg systolic, greater than 10 mm Hg diastolic or both.
- Conditions affecting gait (standing and walking posture) might include arthritis and/or feet deformities. Examples may include feet pain, bunions, plantar fasciitis and decreased touch sensitivity.3,4,5
If you are limited by joint pain or neuropathy, balance exercises, such as water aerobics, can be helpful to prevent falls. Other great options include gentle yoga, Pilates or physical therapy for balance.3
Let’s stand tall and say no to falls.
- “Older Adult Fall Prevention,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed June 8, 2023,
- Hylton B. Menz, Maria Auhl and Martin J. Spink, “Foot Problems as a risk factor for falls in community-dwelling older people: A systematic review and meta-analysis,” Maturitas 118 (December 2018): 7-14, accessed June 8, 2023, doi:
- “Plantar Fasciitis,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed June 8, 2023,
- Laurence Z. Rubenstein, “Falls in Older People,” Merck Manuals Professional Edition, last accessed, June 8, 2023,
- “Bunion,” MSN, last accessed June 8, 2023,
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