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Balance and bands by Michael E. Rogers, Ph.D., CSCS

One-third of community-residing adults ages 65 years and older suffer a fall each year. With more than 35 million older adults in the United States, this rate equates to more than 10 million falls each year. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths in older adults, and a significant cause of injury, disability and healthcare costs. In 2000, 1.8 million falls in the U.S. resulted in an emergency room visit for head trauma, soft tissue injuries, dislocations and fractures (including 340,000 broken hips), accounting for $16.4 billion in direct medical expenses.

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