Falls the top cause of injury-related death among older adults

Property owners have a duty to keep their spaces safe for use. When they neglect to do so and you fall because of it, a serious, potentially life-threatening injury may result. While hazards such as cluttered staircases, loose handrails and puddles on floor pose a threat to everyone who comes around, they present even more of a danger to you when you are 65 or older.

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the top cause of injury-related fatality among adults ages 65 and older. Older adults in Arizona also face a higher risk of dying due to a fall than older adults in many other parts of the country, but those 65 and older are falling and dying from injuries at increasingly high rates.

Fall statistics among those 65 and older

In Arizona, the death rate from falls is 84 deaths per every 100,000 falls, which is higher than the national average. However, fall-related fatality rates have spiked 30% across the nation between 2009 and 2018, with adults ages 85 and over seeing the most substantial increase. About 4% of all adults 85 and over who fall each year wind up losing their lives due to fall-related injuries.

Risk factors

Older adults are more likely to suffer fall-related injuries severe enough to end their lives when they encounter environmental hazards than younger ones. In other words, while a pothole in a parking lot poses a risk to everyone, a younger, more mobile person may be able to avoid it. An older person who lacks flexibility or mobility, or who is taking prescription medications that may hinder balance, may have a harder time avoiding such a hazard.

Find more about fall-related injuries on our webpage.