Falls dire for elderly

Falling is No. 1 injury-related cause of death for elderly in California

In California, more than a half-million older adults have fallen more than once over the past year, and the results are often dire, according to a new study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

The study’s author, Steven Wallace, named falls as “the leading injury-related cause of death and of medical care use among older Californians” and urged greater awareness of the risks associated with falling, according to California Healthline.

“It’s a bit horrifying when we consider the number of Californians who fall repeatedly every year,” Wallace said.

The research found that, among older adults in 2012, falls caused 1,819 deaths, more than 72,000 hospitalizations due to injury and more than 185,000 emergency room visits. The numbers reflect national statistics, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 24,000 people over age 65 died from falls that year.