Statistics show one in four adults over age 65 experience falls each year about half of them don't tell their doctors. The direct medical cost for falls each year is $31 billion.
Oneida County UW-Extension Family Living Educator Sara Richie says falls can be fatal and also very costly. She says it's important to know risk factors and take action to prevent injury..
".....protecting yourself from falls can be as easy as making sure there aren't any loose cords in a walkway area...removing throw rugs that do not have a rubber backing. You can easily trip as you're walking through a hallway or kitchen...."
She says making sure floors are level, having proper lighting, clearing pathways of anything you might trip on, and making sure the bathroom has a bar that a person can hold onto will help prevent an accident. She says having a phone with you will enable you to get help if you need it. She says stay in good physical condition...
"...as we age our muscles begin to deteriorate and if we don't exercise it can be difficult to get out of a chair. When we stand up our muscles can give in and we can fall that way. It's important to do some type of exercise, especially for your legs...."
Richie says there are several exercise programs available through the YMCA or the Senior Center.
She says medications can also contribute to unsteadiness.
Richie says she will be doing a fall prevention class on Monday, September 25 starting at 10:00 a.m. at the Oneida Senior Center. It's open to anyone at no charge. About 8,000 individuals over age 65 live alone in Oneida county.