The 10th Annual “Fall Prevention Day” is next Friday, September 22nd, the first day of fall. Every year this days stands to bring awareness about how to prevent fall related injuries among older adults.
The statistics around senior falls are staggering. One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is admitted to the emergency department for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult will die from a fall.
Falls continue to be a leading cause of fatal injury among older adults. Falls cause approximately 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths. Senior falls cost insurance companies and patients $31 billion each year. What are the top causes for senior falls and how do you prevent them?
Lack of Physical Activity
As an elder law attorney, I encounter many clients that do not participate in an exercise activity. They do not belong to a gym, participate in physical therapy, or spend time moving around outdoors. This is a mistake! You can preserve your physical health by remaining active. If you a caregiver, encourage your loved one to exercise and participate in activities that will get them moving.
Many of my clients live in older homes with poor lighting. A lack of light coupled with poor eye sight can cause a senior to fall in the home. It is important to consider lighting in each room of the home as well as take your loved one for a vision screening annually.
In the age of medicine, we certainly have no shortage of drugs available for “what ails you.” Medication is often prescribed to a patient for various symptoms but rarely do medical professionals take time to evaluate the patient to see what medicine’s may no longer be needed. Medications have side effects. Drowsiness leads to many falls each year. Ask your loved one’s doctor about whether discontinuing some medications are appropriate.
Take note of your loved one’s complaints. If they complain of symptoms of dizziness or feeling foggy, don’t ignore the impact this can have on a person with balance issues. Vertigo is a common occurrence among seniors. Once a fall occurs, it is very difficult to heal.
If your loved one is struggling to stay at home, contact Bratton Scott today. We can create a life care plan that will help give an individual the highest and best quality of life for as long as possible. Give us a call at (856) 857-6007.