Take a look at these shocking statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- More than one in four older adults aged 65 and older will fall this year.
- Among older Americans, falls are the number one cause of injuries and death from injury.
- Annually there are represents 29 million falls, 3 million emergency department (ED) visits, 800,000 hospitalizations, and 28,000 deaths.
- Older adult falls result in more than $31 billion in annual Medicare costs.
Even when falling doesn’t cause serious injury or death, it can seriously compromise your loved one’s quality of life. An injury that would be minor in a younger adult could cost months of therapy and recovery in a senior.
Tomorrow, September 22, 2018, is the first day of Fall. The National Council on Aging, in a fun play on words, has designated this day as Fall Prevention Awareness Day.
If you have an elderly individual who is still mostly independent, you may stay up at night worrying about fall prevention. While you can never prevent falls from happening, you can help your loved ones set up their homes in a way that will prevent them losing their balance or tripping.
How to Prevent Falls
We previously published a two-part article dealing with this very topic.
In Preventing Falls: Part 1, we discussed reducing environmental risks that can contribute to falls. These include:
- Clearing clutter from walkways.
- Securing or eliminating rugs that move around too much.
- Checking that the handrails and banister are sturdy.
- Making sure the home is well-lit.
Make sure to read the post for advice on recognizing fall risk factors and reducing environmental risks.
Don’t miss Preventing Falls: Part 2, where we covered medical reasons that may raise your loved one’s chances of falling. Things like vision problems, unstable blood pressure, and medication side effects can all make falls more likely.
While nothing can completely eliminate the chances of falling, make sure to set up your loved one’s home as safely as possible to reduce their chances of falling.
If your loved one is particularly at risk of falling, and you can’t relax knowing they’re home alone, it may be time to consider a nursing home, where they will be under constant supervision.