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Fall Prevention: Causes and Risks of Falling
Falls can be dangerous for older adults, but there are precautions you can take to lower your risk.
Many of us develop a fear of falling as we get older. Falls can be serious for people aged 65 and older, resulting in injury and even death. Even a minor fall can cause a loss of independence by making it hard to do your everyday activities and take care of yourself.
The fear of falling can have a serious impact on your daily life. You might limit your activities and social engagements to avoid falling. This could lead to depression, isolation, and helplessness.
The good news is there are ways to prevent most falls, according to the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
What are the main causes of falls?
Several factors can increase your chance of a fall. Talk to your doctor to find out if any of these apply to you:
- Changes in eyesight, hearing, or reflexes
- Medical issues that can affect your balance such as diabetes, heart disease, or problems with your thyroid, nerves, feet, or blood vessels
- Medications that make you feel dizzy or sleepy
- Lower body muscle weakness
- Blood pressure that drops too much when you get up from lying down or sitting
- Painful foot problems
How can you lower your risk for falls?
To lower your fall risk, follow these tips:
- Stay physically active
- Have your eyes and hearing tested
- Learn about any side effects of your medications
- Get enough sleep
- Stand up slowly
- Use an assistive device to help you feel steady
Be sure to tell your doctor if you have ever fallen, even if your fall did not cause an injury.
To learn more about falls, visit the NIA website, or find out how to make your home fall-proof.
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Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of The Cigna Group Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna Healthcare name, logo, and other Cigna Healthcare marks are owned by The Cigna Group Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of The Cigna Group.
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