- One of the top 10 causes of death in the US includes injuries sustained from falling down.
- Nearly half of all falls take place in the home and close to 85% of those are caused by environmental hazards.
- Of people who have become disabled in the 65 and older group, one-third are disabled from fall injuries.
- Older adults are hospitalized for fall-related injuries five times more often than any other cause.
- Hip fractures are the most serious outcomes. Only half of all injured older adults with hip fractures regain their former function.
We use this information to train our caregivers and is important information for everyone in the Care continuum to know. Many times falling can by avoided simply by becoming aware of why people fall. The key reasons are:
- Physical problems including impaired balance. There may be a motor, sensory or cognition challenge which could be aided with a regular and appropriate lev
- el exercise program
- Physical conditions like Parkinson’s, arthritis, visual impairments and neuropathy or Medications including anti-depressants, muscle relaxants and medication interactions
- Environmental hazards is the easiest one to identify and fix. Look at furniture placement, provide higher seating with armrests; keep walking surfaces flat and uncluttered (No rugs!) with good lighting. Make sure all areas are well lit and that light switches are easily accessible.
Consider these options:
1. Use of assistive equipment like walkers, canes, handicap friendly bathroom.
2. Make the home safer.
3. Have a health care provider review medications and arrange for a vision check.