As an aging American, you may begin to develop certain risk factors as you grow older that make you more likely to fall and suffer a serious injury as a result. Sometimes, home and property owners behave negligently and leave items cluttering aisles or blocking staircases, while in others, they may leave pools of water or other substances collecting on the floor. While such hazards may pose only a minor threat for younger people, who may be able to easily spot and avoid potential obstructions in their paths, older people sometimes struggle to do the same. Their falls can have gravely serious consequences.

Just how often are today’s seniors falling down?

A closer look at fall statistics

Nowadays, per the National Council on Aging, falls have become so commonplace among older populations that they are the leading cause of fatal injuries and hospital visits within this age group. Furthermore, more than 27,000 people lose their lives every year due to fall-related injuries, while another 800,000 undergo hospitalization to seek treatment for injuries suffered during falls.

Far-reaching effects

While an older American who takes a serious fall will often experience considerable physical hardship, older people who suffer falls may also find that the fall affects their lives in other ways. More specifically, falling can make an older person feel unsteady or afraid to spend time on her or his feet, which can lead to decreased mobility and increased isolation. Fears of falling may also prevent older Americans from socializing, which can lead to feelings of depression or loneliness.

Age-related fall risks

As you age, you will typically experience your vision, strength and degree of flexibility diminishing over time, and this can contribute to your fall risk. Mixing certain prescription medications, failing to wear prescribed glasses or contacts or recovering from certain surgical procedures can also make you more likely to fall.

While you can work on reducing your fall risk by increasing your level of physical activity and exercising extreme caution when moving about, some environmental factors may prove unavoidable. Home and business owners have a duty to maintain safe spaces. When they do not, the consequences can be dire.