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To Your Health: Falls

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Millions of people fall victim, literally, to the same major health concern every year. The CDC reports that three million senior citizens are treated for fall injuries in emergency departments annually. 

The majority of adults 65 years or older share a fear of falling. According to the CDC, over a quarter of this population falls yearly. Falls lead to injuries, medical expenses, inactivity due to fear of falling again, admittance to a skilled nursing facility, and death. There are a variety of risk factors for falling and having multiple risk factors makes a person more likely to fall. The CDC stated that 1 out of 5 falls results in a serious injury and 50 billion dollars are spent on fall-related medical costs every year. 

Authors of a recent study published in Health Promotion Practice found falling also increases the likelihood of being placed in a nursing home and it is even more likely if there was an injury. The CDC’s STEADI program gives four tips for fall prevention. These are to:

1. Talk openly with your healthcare provider about fall risks and prevention.
2. Exercise to improve your balance and strength.
3. Have your eyes and feet checked.
4. Make your home safer.


Vincenzo, J. L., & Patton, S. K. (2021). Older Adults’ Experience With Fall Prevention Recommendations Derived From the STEADI. Health Promotion Practice, 22(2), 236–247.

Content for this segment was created by Mattie Colbert as part of a project for SC301: Foundations of Health Communication, taught by Dr. Clubbs. Mattie is a junior at Southeast, majoring in Communication Disorders and minoring in Communication for Health Professionals. Her career goal is to be a speech-language pathologist in a skilled nursing facility, which led to her interest in senior citizen health and fall prevention.

Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Middle & Secondary Education. She writes for special publications of The Southeast Missourian and is a certified Community Health Worker.
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