Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • One-third of Americans aged 65+ falls each year.
  • Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.
  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults
  • In 2013, the total cost of fall injuries was $34 billion

However, falling is not an inevitable result of aging. Through practical lifestyle adjustments and working with health care and other community providers, the number of falls among seniors can be substantially reduced.

Both the National Council on Aging and the Centers for Disease Control recommend the following fall prevention steps:

  • Begin an exercise program to improve leg strength and balance
  • Work with your doctor or pharmacist to review medications—the way medicines work in the body may change with age, making you sleepy or dizzy
  • Get annual eye check-ups and update your glasses—poor vision can increase the chances of falling
  • Make your home safer by removing small throw rugs, keeping clutter off stairs and floors, adding grab bars and extra bannisters, maintaining good lighting, hanging light weight curtains or shades to reduce glare, using non-slip mats in bathtubs or shower floors, and non-slip treads on stairs.

Bergen Volunteer Center's Chore Handyman Service Can Help

The Bergen Volunteer Center’s Chore Handyman Service can help provide minor home repairs to keep Bergen County senior and disabled residents safe in their homes. Volunteers from Chore can do such things as install grab bars and bannisters, change light bulbs, repair or replace lighting fixtures, install curtain rods and shades and more. There is no labor charge for Chore service—people are asked only to pay for any materials used in the repair. Chore Service is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call 201-489-7790, or visit www.bergenvolunteers.org. Maureen McCormick Program Director, Chore Volunteer Handyman Service Bergen Volunteer Center 64 Passaic Street Hackensack, New Jersey 07601 mmccormick@bergenvolunteers.org 201-489-7790 (Chore direct line) 201-489-9454 201-489-1995-fax