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Prevent Falls

Falls remain the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injury for older Americans. Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs.

Get the Facts.

  • Every 1 out of 3 adults age 65 and older fall each year.
  • Falls are the leading cause of injuries and injury deaths among people age 65 and older.
  • Most hip fractures are caused from a fall, and falls are the main cause of traumatic brain injuries among older adults.
  • Fall-related injuries among older adults account for nearly 7,000 hospitalizations and almost 25,000 emergency room visits in South Carolina in one year.
  • In 2009, 171 South Carolinians age 65 and older died as a result of a fall.

Are You At Risk?

  • The chance of falling and being seriously injured from a fall increase with age. As people get older, they are more likely to fall. The 85 and older age-group is at the greatest risk for falling.
  • People who are not physically active are more likely to fall.
  • Older adults are at greater risk for dying from a fall.
  • People who are afraid of falling or who have fallen in the past are more likely to fall.

4 Things YOU Can Do to Prevent Falls:

  1. Begin a regular exercise program. It’s important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance.
  2. Have your doctor review your medicines. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines—both prescription and over-the counter—to reduce side effects and interactions that may cause dizziness or drowsiness.
  3. Have your vision checked. Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update your eyeglasses to improve your vision.
  4. Make your home safer (PDF). Remove throw rugs and clutter that might cause you to trip. Add grab bars in your bathroom and railings on your stairways. Use brighter light bulbs to improve the lighting in your home.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Take Control!

Learn more about Life Improvement Programs to help you stay active, do the things you want to do, and prevent falls. Call (803) 898-0760 or visit www.scdhec.gov/arthritis to find a workshop near you or contact your local County Council on Aging.

For information, contact us at (803) 545-4349 or poorek@dhec.sc.gov. See a brief description of the work performed by DHEC's Division of Injury and Violence Prevention.