Facts About Falls

Facts

In Winnebago

  • 74% of hospitalizations related to falls were in adults 65 or older (Burden of Injury Prevention Report-Fall 2006)

Overall

  • 1 in 3 adults (65 and older) in the United States fall each year
  • Up to 1 in 4 adults who lived independently before their hip fracture has to stay in a nursing home for at least a year after their injuries
    • The expected annual cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $54.9 billion by 2020

Are you or a loved one at risk for a fall?

Call the health department for a FREE in-home risk assessment preformed by a public health nurse!

Self-Test

Preventing Falls

  • Exercise is vital to maintain balance and strength. Regular exercise can help you greatly reduce your frequency of falls or even help you prevent falls.
  • Check your medications with your doctor or pharmacist (even over-the-counter medicines).
    • Some medicines may make you sleepy or dizzy increasing your risk of a fall. This is a list of inappropriate medicines.
  • Have your vision checked at least once a year by an eye doctor.
    • Examples of what different vision problems can look like
  • Get up slowly after you sit or lie down.
  • Wear shoes both inside and outside-avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers.
    • Look at our Shoe Guide if you are unsure about your shoes.
  • Have uniform lighting in a room-
    • Add light to dark areas, and hang lightweight curtains/shades to reduce glare.
  • Paint a contrasting color on the top edge of all steps so you can see the stairs better.
  • See your physician if you experience a loss of hearing, it may just be wax build-up, but hearing loss can cause dizziness and balance problems.
  • Use a walking aid that has rubber on the bottom.
    • Keep it by the bed at night in case you need to get up.
  • Proper nutrition is also important in helping to prevent falls.

Fill out this checklist to a safe home to see if you can help protect yourself from a fall at home by doing simple improvements. (Adapted from the CDC)

Other Safety Tips

  • Keep emergency numbers in large print near each phone.
  • Put a phone near the floor in case you fall and can't get up.
  • Think about wearing an alarm device that will bring help in case you fall and can't get up.
  • Keep a record of all your falls including-date, time, circumstance, what was hit (i.e. - head, arm, leg), and any injury that resulted. If you have any questions, please call: (920)-232-3000/727-2894 FURTHER RESOURCES: