It’s that lovely time of year when leaves change and we begin planning for the holidays starting with Halloween. Any idea how much money Americans spend on ghouls and goblins? In 2021 it was $10.1 billion! Scary for sure. But even more so is aging and falling.
Consider that every year 3,000,000 older adults end up in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to a fall. That’s about 25% of Americans aged 65. Over 800,000 are hospitalized with injuries that range from hip fractures to head injuries.
Egad. By the time we’re age 70 the prevalence of traumatic falls rises to nearly 45%.
What can we do to reduce the risk?
Most falls occur at home. So, focusing on creating a safe home environment and other safety measures can be highly effective. Here’s how: Falls and Fractures in Older Adults: Causes and Prevention | National Institute on Aging (nih.gov).
Also, exercise! Staying fit reduces the risk of falling. Exercise helps with gait, strength and balance. All lower the risk of falling. Tai Chi or even just walking with a friend can help you stay active and reduce the risk of falling.
And have your vision checked. Impaired vision makes it hard to judge distance or see slippery surfaces. Maintaining vision prescriptions and/or cataract repair are also key preventive measures as we age.
Just to be sure that you are up to date on Halloween, here’s what you need to know:
- 65% of Americans plan to celebrate Halloween
- 4,600,000 adults will dress up as witches
- $3,300,000 will be spent on costumes
- $3,400,000 will be spent on decorations
Scary for sure!