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Senior Obstacles: Fall Prevention

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1 in 3 adults, 65 and older, fall each year. Among older adults falls are the leading cause of injury deaths and the most common cause of hospital admissions for trauma. Of those who fall, 20%-30% suffer injuries that make it hard for them to live independently and increase their chances of early death.

How Big Is The Problem?

Older adults are hospitalized for fall-related injuries 5 times more often than they are for injuries from other causes.

In 2013 nearly 1.8 million people, 65 and older, were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries from falls. The rates of fall-related deaths among older adults rose significantly over the past decade.

Types of Injuries:

20% - 30% of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as bruises, hip fractures, or head traumas. These injuries can make it hard to get around and limit independent daily living. They can also increase the risk of early death. Hospitalizations accounted for nearly two thirds of the costs of nonfatal fall injuries, and emergency department treatment accounted for 20%. Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls. Fractures were both the most common and most costly type of nonfatal injuries.

Who is at Risk?

People 75 and older who fall are four to five times more likely to be admitted to a long-term care facility for a year or longer.

What can cause a fall?

Eyesight Hearing Muscle Tone Balance Pain from arthritis or joint problems
Dementia Parkinson’s Sickness Irregular blood pressure

What Can Be Done To Prevent Falls?

Exercise regularly:
Programs that increase strength and improve balance are especially good.

Have eyes and lenses checked by an eye doctor at least once per year.
Durable Medical Equipment Options:
Toilets near the bed, Raised toilet seats with handles, Lower beds, Grab bars, Handrails

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