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HHS HealthBeat (January 21, 2014)

Seniors on their feet

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Staying on their feet often can be hard for seniors. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Judy Stevens says that, in a given year, about 1 in 3 people ages 65 and older will have a fall.

“Most falls don’t cause injuries. But 1 out of 5 causes a serious injury like a head injury or a fracture. And each year, there are about 260,000 hip fractures.”

Stevens says falls commonly have more than one cause. These include muscle weakness, poor balance, a tripping hazard such as a throw rug, side effects of some medications, and not being able to see well. 

Ways to reduce the risk include strength and balance exercises, annual eye exams, and fall-proofing the house by de-cluttering, improving lighting, and adding grab rails in and outside bathtubs and showers.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: January 21, 2014