Preventing Falls and Maintaining Function as We Age
Each year, one out of three adults aged 65 and over falls. A third of those falls result in moderate-to-severe injuries that can lead to further declines in health and loss of independence. The good news is that many falls can be prevented.
This issue, featuring information to prevent falls and fall-related injuries, is brought to you by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIA was established to improve the health and well-being of older people through research..
Featured Health Information
The NIA's falls and fractures webpage offers suggestions for lifestyle changes—like increasing physical activity and improving balance—that can help older adults avoid falls and fall-related injuries. It also offers practical tips and simple changes to make every room in the home safer.
The NIA's exercise and physical activity campaign, Go4Life®, has information to help older adults maintain their independence. It offers adults and health care professionals simple and safe exercise ideas for strength, balance and flexibility. Balance exercises have been shown to prevent falls and the disabilities that may result from falling.
NIHSeniorHealth is a website designed with older adults in mind. It offers information about falls, including causes and risk factors, devices to help prevent falls and how to maintain bone health. The website is easy to use and navigate, and it offers interactive features such as quizzes and videos to engage visitors.
The Surgeon General's Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis: What It Means to You is a free brochure from the NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center. Broken bones are painful at any age, but can be deadly for older people with weak bones. This visually appealing publication provides information about who is at risk for osteoporosis, how to protect bones at any age and what to discuss with a health care provider.
Vision and Aging: See Well for a Lifetime is an online toolkit developed by the National Eye Institute (NEI) to help health care and community professionals educate older adults about keeping their eyes healthy as they age—an important factor in maintaining independence, quality of life, the ability to perform activities of daily living and reduce the risk of falls. The toolkit contains everything needed to conduct educational sessions on common vision changes associated with aging, the most prevalent eye diseases and conditions in seniors, how to protect their sight and how vision rehabilitation can help them learn to live well despite vision loss.
The Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries (STEADI) older adult falls prevention campaign offers tools and educational resources to help health care providers reduce falls among their patients. Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the STEADI program provides online fact sheets, videos, case studies and continuing education.
The Administration for Community Living’s Administration on Aging Falls Prevention Initiative addresses the growing epidemic of fall-related injuries among older adults. Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for adults aged 65 years and older. This webpage features profiles of grant awardees, including tribal organizations, and offers links to other helpful resources.
News & Events
The NIA continues to sponsor research to prevent falls in older people, with a particular focus on how prevention practices can be more effectively adopted. The NIA-funded STRIDE clinical trial evaluates evidence-based, individually tailored interventions to prevent fall-related injuries.
To find out more about studies on falls, visit https://clinicaltrials.gov/.
The Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting will be held November 16–20, 2016, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The theme is "New Lens on Aging: Changing Attitudes, Expanding Possibilities."
The IAGG World Congress on Gerontology and Geriatrics and Geriatrics will be held in San Francisco July 23–27, 2017. Sessions on falls prevention are planned.