Galveston County Daily News (Internet / Print) 03/01/06 Guest Column by Dr. Jose Loera: Although many older people may fear catching a cold at the grocery store or being involved in a fender bender, one of the biggest preventable dangers to people over age 65 exists within their own homes — accidental falls. More than one quarter of older adults experience at least one fall per year. Commonly, both the number of falls and severity of injuries increase with age. As one ages, the body may experience a loss of muscle mass and slowing nerve responses. These changes may make it difficult for a person to avoid a fall since the ability to detect and react to potential obstacles may be diminished. Accidents generally involve something in the environment. Most occur from a change in stability while walking or changes associated with aging. Poor posture, poor vision, hearing and memory problems all tend to impair the older person’s ability to avoid falls.