iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Do you have an older loved one you’re doing your best to keep safe and healthy? Then do whatever you can to eliminate their chances of falling.
A new report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds falls are the number-one cause of injuries and deaths from injury among older Americans. They experienced 29 million falls in 2014 alone, causing seven million injuries.
It’s costly to taxpayers, too — annual Medicare costs to treat fall-related injuries are an estimated $31 billion.
And it’s only going to get worse as more than 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day.
Increased inactivity, more severe chronic health conditions, reduced muscle strength and increased use of prescription medications are risk factors for falls among older Americans.
The CDC recommends a few common-sense steps to take to reduce the risk of falls, including eliminating obvious fall hazards. But some medications can also increase the risk of falling, so a chat with your doctor is also in order. Same goes for your eyes — get them checked at least once a year, to ensure you can see where you’re going.
And lastly, exercise as much as you can. The stronger you are, the less likely you are to fall, or to be injured if you do.
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.