Fitness, Seniors

Preventing injury as you age – CDC

Older white haired man stretches by a lake.
Every older adult can take steps to stay safe from injury and remain independent longer. Photo: Christian Northe from Pixabay 

From the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

One in four older adults who are 65 years of age will live into their 90s. Although risk of injury increases as we age, aging without injury is possible. Older adults can take specific steps to help keep themselves and their loved ones safe from injury.

Age Safely

People age 65 and older are at higher risk for injury. Common injuries include:

  • Falls―the leading cause of injury and injury death among adults 65 years of age and older.
  • Motor vehicle crashes―the second leading cause of injury death for older adults.
  • Traumatic brain injury and concussion―commonly result from falls and motor vehicle crashes. Older adults age 75+ are at greatest risk.

Safety Tips for Older Adults

Every older adult can take steps to stay safe from injury and remain independent longer. Caregivers can help encourage these steps or assist in carrying them out:

  • Speak up and talk to your doctor about fall risk. Discuss whether you have fallen, worry about falling, or feel unsteady when standing or walking.
  • Keep moving and engage in activities that improve balance and strengthen legs (such as Tai Chi) that can help prevent falls.
  • Have an annual wellness and eye exam. Annual wellness visits are important to maintain health and to prevent future problems.
  • Have your medications checked by your doctor or pharmacist. Medicines may have side effects that cause sleepiness or dizziness which increase the risk of car crashes and falling.
    • Use the Medicines Risk Fact Sheet to see if any of the medicines you or your loved ones currently take are creating greater risk for injury.
  • Check your home for safety. Most falls happen at home.
    • Use the Check for Safety checklist to find and fix potential hazards in the home―both inside and out.
  • Create a personalized MyMobility Plan to help with the challenges that may come with age. Older adults who make a plan are more likely to take action to maintain their mobility and independence as they age.