June is National Home Safety Month, which makes it a great time to assess your home for safety and to review any changes in your health that may have an effect on your ability to avoid a fall. Falls are the leading cause of home injury in older adults and can threaten independent living. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three adults age 65 and older falls each year, making falls the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. Older adults with a physical disability or chronic health condition such as Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis are at an increased risk of falling.
In addition to physical consequences such as cuts, bruises, fractures, and traumatic brain injury (TBI), the fear of falling can have a powerful effect on your daily activities. You may limit social interaction by staying home more often, and that can lead to depression and anxiety. You may also spend more time being inactive, and this lack of physical activity only decreases strength and your body’s ability to react to a potential fall.