Have you or a loved one slipped or fallen recently? You
are not alone, one in three older adults (65+) fall each year and as we get
older we are more likely to fall. In 2014, there were 28,221 non-fatal emergency
department visits (treat and release, or transfer to another facility)
and 9,364 non-fatal hospitalizations caused by falls in San Diego County
So, why are older adults more likely to fall? There are many different
risk factors and most of these become more common in older people.
Risk factors include:
- Balance and mobility problems
- Medical conditions and medications
- Poor Vision
- Environmental hazards.
The good news is that many falls are preventable and you CAN
reduce your risk of falling!
Steps to Prevent Falls:
Stay active to improve your strength, flexibility, and
balance. Walking, dancing, Tai Chi and exercise classes are all good ways
to improve your health. Depending on your medical or surgical history, your
doctor may refer you to a Physical Therapist who can help you start an
exercise program. Talk with your doctor about the best approach for
Talk with your doctor about health issues, such as
osteoporosis, your Vitamin D level, medications, difficulty with hearing or
vision, or if you feel faint, off-balance or dizzy. If you have dizzy
spells, your doctor may recommend you see a specialist for help. Your
doctor or pharmacist can also look at your medications to check for side
effects that can make you dizzy or affect your coordination. Don't forget
to ask about over-the-counter medicines like allergy medications, sleep
aids and pain killers.
Have your vision checked at least one time per year by
a professional. Vision can change so slowly that we do not even notice
Make your home safer, remove things you could trip or
slip on, maintain good lighting and nightlights, and install strong grab
bars and handrails. As we age, our eyes often need more light than we
More information on local community resources and programs to prevent
falls is available in our resource guide below. Ask your physician's office
or other health provider to use this website to identify resources that are
appropriate for you. Please scroll down and click on the links to see our
resources for seniors and service providers.
If you are a provider please scroll down for provider resources and
consider joining our Fall Prevention Task Force, meeting details listed
San Diego Fall Prevention Task
The County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency, Aging &
Independence Services, sponsors the San Diego Fall Prevention
Task Force. The Task Force includes older adults and service
providers. The main chapter and North County chapter each meet once per
month. Our mission is to reduce falls and their devastating
Main Chapter: 2nd Tuesday of each month from 1:00 PM- 2:00 PM
County Operation Center
5560 Overland Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123 -
Aging and Independence Services, Third Floor
*Please check in at front desk upon arrival
North County Chapter: 3rd Tuesday of each month, from 1:00 - 2:30
Tri-City Wellness Center
6250 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, CA 92009
(Conference room is just off the main foyer near the
The Fall Prevention Task Force also hosts a Speakers Bureau and Balance
Screeners Bureau. The Speakers Bureau provides 30-60 minute presentations
for groups entitled Fall Prevention For Seniors. The Balance
Screeners Bureau consists of health care professionals in San Diego County
who are trained to conduct fall risk screenings in the community and at
events targeting seniors.
If you would like to join the Fall Prevention Task Force email
distribution list or access services provided by the Speakers Bureau and
Balance Screeners Bureau, please contact Carolyn Proskow at email@example.com
Resources and Links:
Prevention On-line Resource Guide Click on this link to view
the Fall Prevention Resource Guide to San Diego community agencies
that provide fall prevention services, such as exercise programs, home
safety modification, home health services and more.
Fall Prevention Toolkit – created by the San
Diego Fall Prevention Task Force:
Introduction: What you can do
in your practice
Information for providers:
Prevention in San Diego – an article by Eric McDonald, MD, FACEP
and Kimberly Bell, DPT, MPT that includes AGS guidelines.
California Falls – prevalence data and importance of falls as a
public health concern.
falls in the elderly – an article describing adverse drug effects
which increase fall risk.
The "Get Up and
Go Test" – a proven assessment tool for clinicians from the
American Geriatrics Society
Drug-related falls in older patients: implicated drugs,
consequences, and possible prevention strategies
Information for older adults:
Yourself: Simple Steps to Prevent Falls – an overview of fall
– a list of safety steps for inside the home.
Outdoor Falls – a list of steps to take in the local
Exercise Guide: A
guide developed by the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence with support
from the national Fall Proof Program.
Steps to Prevent a Fall (1 minute 40 seconds)
This short animated video provides 6 easy steps everyone can take to
prevent a fall.
"Don't Fall for
It" (10 Minutes)
the short version provides a brief overview of the problem, common risk
factors and simple steps anyone can take to lower their risk of
"Don't Fall for
It" (28 Minutes)
the long version describes the above information in more detail and
highlights the personal stories of three elderly individuals.
of "Don't Fall for It" (14 Minutes)
this version provides an overview of the problem, common risk factors and
simple steps anyone can take to lower their risk of falling.
Fall Prevention for Clinicians
This video shows how you can incorporate fall prevention in your
Senior Falls Report, County of San Diego 2012 –
local data on falls and fall-related injuries, hospitalizations and
California- information to reflect a California state wide effort to
for Disease Control and Prevention STEDI: Stopping Elderly Accidents,
Deaths and Injuries
Fall Prevention Center of Excellence
Evidence-Base Fall Prevention Programs
Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from
the National Institute on Aging: Includes exercises, free books in
English and Spanish and audio books.
National Council on Aging
National Institutes of Health - National Library of Medicine
Vial of Life -
Vials of Life consists of a magnetic plastic holder that contains a form
with your specific health information. Please keep the Vial of Life on your
refrigerator and in case of emergency, paramedics will be able to refer to
the Vial of Life and save precious time. To request the Vial of Life
magnetic plastic holder, please call 1-800-510-2020. Make sure to keep your
health information updated and accurate. The form can be downloaded by
clicking on this link, so that you may print out a new form at any
Although resources in this section have been selectively chosen, it is a
work in progress and we recognize that not all available resources are
included. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with comments,
questions or suggestions for additional resources to help make this site as
comprehensive and user-friendly as possible.