BURLINGTON, Vt. — Vermont health officials say community members can take steps to reduce the risks of falling for older adults.

Falls are the leading cause of injury for people 65 years of age and older in Vermont. But the state’s falls prevention coalition says most falls are avoidable.

Vermont Department of Health coordinator Steve DeVoe said balance becomes less steady as we age. Reduced bone density can lead to bone breaks from minor falls.

Vermont saw 20,293 emergency department visits due to falls in 2014, and almost $62 million in hospitalizations.

The state says ways to reduce falls include considering vitamin D supplements, or checking for medications that may cause dizziness. Other tips include exercise, eye exams and adding handrails to one’s home.

September was Falls Prevention Awareness Month across the state.

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