Today starts a brand new series on the top reasons seniors fall in their homes and how it can be prevented. In this series, we will provide information on falls and what can be done to prevent them from leading authorities like the Centers for Disease Control.
Why is this important?
Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head injuries, and can increase the risk of early death. Fortunately, falls are a public health problem that is largely preventable.
How big of a problem is it?
- One out of three adults age 65 and older falls each year, but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it.
- Among older adults (those 65 or older), falls are the leading cause of injury death. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.
- In 2010, 2.3 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 662,000 of these patients were hospitalized.
- In 2010, the direct medical costs of falls, adjusted for inflation, was $30.0 billion.
Who is at risk?
- The death rates from falls among older men and women have risen sharply over the past decade.
- In 2009, about 20,400 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries.
- Men are more likely than women to die from a fall. After taking age into account, the fall death rate in 2009 was 34% higher for men than for women.
- Older Caucasians are 2.4 times more likely to die from falls as their black counterparts.
- People age 75 and older who fall are four to five times more likely than those age 65 to 74 to be admitted to a long-term care facility for a year or longer.
- Rates of fall-related fractures among older women are more than twice those for men
- Over 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls. In 2009, there were 271,000 hip fractures and the rate for women was almost three times the rate for men.
- White women have significantly higher hip fracture rates than black women.
Quick Facts about Falls:
- The risk of falling increases with age and is greater for women than for men.
- Two-thirds of those who experience a fall will fall again within six months.
- A decrease in bone density contributes to falls and resultant injuries.
- Failure to exercise regularly results in poor muscle tone, decreased strength, and loss of bone mass and flexibility.
- At least one-third of all falls in the elderly involve environmental hazards in the home.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control, Colorado State University.
Make sure to come back and read our series on the Top Reasons People Fall in Their Home.
Why One Call Alert?
This year 13.5 million people age 65 and older will fall. If you or a loved one experience a medical emergency, time is of the essence. That’s where One Call Alert can help, connecting you to the right help for the situation, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at the push of a button. Whether you need emergency services or just the assistance of a family member or friend to help you get back on your feet, we can help.