Top 10 Myths About Falling Debunked
©2013 National Council on Aging
MYTH: Falling happens to other people, not to me.
REALITY: 1 in 3 older adults (about 12 million) fall every year in the U.S.
MYTH: If I limit my activity, I won't fall.
REALITY: Physical activities will help you stay independent, as your strength and range of motion benefit from remaining active.
MYTH: Muscle strength and flexibility can't be regained.
REALITY: While we do lose muscle as we age, exercise can partially restore strength and flexibility. It’s never too late to start an exercise program so talk to your doctor about how to start.
MYTH: I don't need to get my vision checked every year.
REALITY: Aging is associated with some forms of vision and people with vision problems are more than twice as likely to fall as those without visual impairment.
MYTH: I don’t need to talk to family members or my health care provider if I’m concerned about my risk of falling. I don’t want to alarm them, and I want to keep my independence.
REALITY: Fall prevention is a team effort so talk to your doctor, family, etc. because they want to help you maintain your mobility and reduce your risk of falling.
MYTH: Falling is something normal that happens as you get older.
REALITY: Falling is not a normal part of aging.
MYTH: As long as I stay at home, I can avoid falling.
REALITY: Over half of all falls take place at home.
MYTH: Taking medication doesn't increase my risk of falling.
REALITY: Taking any medication may increase your risk of falling as side effects may cause sleepiness, dizziness, etc. Drug interactions may produce similar effects.
MYTH: Using a walker or cane will make me more dependent.
REALITY: Walking aids help many older adults maintain or improve their mobility. A physical therapist should fit the walker or cane to you and instruct you in its safe use.
MYTH: I don't need to talk to my parent, spouse, or other older adult if I’m concerned about their risk of falling. It will hurt their feelings, and it's none of my business.
REALITY: Express your concerns and offer support to help them maintain the highest degree of independence possible through programs, home modifications, etc.