If you had to guess what the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries in older Americans is, you might guess it’s something like automobile accidents. And if we were talking about all Americans – not just those over 65 –you’d be right.
But according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), it’s falls, with 1 in 4 over the age of 65 falling each year.
The fact that 1 in 4 people over the age of 65 fall each year isn’t the most startling statistic, however. The NCOA goes on to report that:
- An older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall every 11 seconds.
- Every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.
- Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments each year.
- Each year, over 800,000 people are hospitalized due to falls.
- More than 27,000 people die from falls or fall-related injuries annually.
And though the risk factors for falls increase with age – medications that can affect balance, decline in muscle strength or deteriorating vision – falling does not have to be an inevitable part of getting older. With the right precautions and practical lifestyle adjustments, the risk of falls can be significantly reduced.
...And What Isn't in the Statistics.
It’s unfortunate, but for many people, the first fall can mean the beginning of a loss of independence. In an effort to be more careful, they may avoid leaving home or taking part in activities they may have enjoyed before the fall. While well-intentioned, this loss of independence can have a serious impact on quality of life: people who once had active and healthy lifestyles become sedentary, which can exacerbate other health issues and concerns.
For anyone looking to reduce their fall risk, safety should be a top priority. But not far behind that, maintaining independence and an active, good quality of life should also be considered.
How to Reduce Falls and Maintain Independence
The good news is that there are quite a few quick and easy things you can do to reduce fall risk around the home:
- Inspecting the home to make sure there are no tripping hazards like extension cords, throw rugs that aren’t secured with double sided tape, or other items like books, shoes or boxes lying on the floor.
- Rearrange furniture so you don’t have to walk around furniture to move around the home.
- Ensure the home is well lit. With declining vision, brighter lights may be needed to safely navigate the home.
- Use a rubber mat in the shower or tub to increase traction.
- Make sure the path from the bed to the bathroom is clear.
Outside of the home, though, things can get a little dicey as there are a lot of things that are simply beyond your control. And it’s for that reason that we recommend the Apex Balance Shoe.
The Apex Balance Shoe & Apex Balance Shoe - Hiker
We understand that falls and the loss of independence they can bring are devastating. That’s why we set out to develop a shoe that can help mitigate the risks of falls, because helping others live active, healthy lives is a responsibility that we take seriously.
What we came up with were the Apex Balance Shoe and a sportier alternative, the Apex Balance Shoe - Hiker. We started with a slip-resistant ole that exceeds industry standards for slip resistance, sculpted the outer sole to be smooth and with an angled toe for added trip avoidance, added a textured insole for sensory feedback that also provides support, and finished with a low-profile heel for maximum postural stability.
They’re good. How good? They’re so good they come with their own medical references.
As scary as falls may seem, they do not have to be an inevitable part of aging. With the right precautions and footwear, you can stay active, healthy and independent!
Purchase a pair of Apex Balance Shoes to reduce your fall risk today!