Senior falls represent some of the greatest fears for the older population. According to the Center for Disease Control one in four of those over 65 fall each year and only half tell their doctor. Other revealing yearly CDC statistics show:
- 20% of falls result in serious injury
- 3 million falls are treated in emergency rooms
- 800,000 result in hospitalization
- 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures
- 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling
- In 2020, medical costs for falls were predicted to approach $54.9 Billion with Medicare and Medicaid paying 75% of the cost
Causes Of Senior Falls
Medication, impaired vision, chronic conditions, and household hazards are all sources of falls. Depth perception and preciseness are altered with Glaucoma and/or macular degeneration. Medications often have contraindications affecting balance, reflexes, and gait. Chronic conditions such as Parkinson’s, heart disease or COPD directly affect balance and mobility. Households become more hazardous with an increase in clutter and trip hazards.
Tips For Preventing Senior Falls
Although falls are not 100% preventable, they are avoidable with simple common-sense approaches.
First, notice if balance is a problem and contact your physician to identify the cause. Could medications be responsible for changed equilibrium? A medication review by a pharmacist or physician may provide the answers. Assistive devices such as walkers or canes could be advised and would be beneficial. Follow your doctor’s advice.
Vision changes are identified with a regular eye exam. Use contrasting colors to distinguish counters, toilets, etc. Install grab bars in bathrooms, especially showers, as glasses are usually not worn when showering.
Chronic conditions are the bane of the elderly. Pay attention to bodily changes and address concerns. Understand how a diagnosis could affect gait and balance.
Household hazards generate 6 out of 10 falls. A Senior’s home should have handrails on both sides of any stairway, proper lighting in place, and pathways clear. Area/throw rugs need to be removed. Electrical cords need to be secured to walls and out of pathways. Often used items are easier to reach when close by. According to the Medical Guardian 13% of falls occur in the bathroom and 31% in the living room.
Bridge to Better Living’s superior knowledge of Senior Living Options goes beyond understanding the amenities and services available to their clients. Consultants also recognize clients are susceptible to the risks of aging… including falls.
Contact us today and know you are safe in the hands of Bridge to Better Living and their staff.