Accidents can happen at any age, but older adults can be especially prone to not just a fall but serious injury from falling.
Fall death rates in the United States increased by 30% between 2007 and 2016, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), which means that if this rate continues there will be seven fall deaths every hour by 2030.
Research shows that of the one in four older adults (those over age 65) who fall each year, less than half tell their doctor (there are no statistics available on if they tell a family member). The data also shows that a person doubles their risks of falling again after one fall.
Seniors are more vulnerable to falls for all kinds of reasons, including changes in vision, medication side effects, changes in balance, and more. It can be hard to admit that these issues exist and therefore mitigate for the likelihood of a fall.
The CDC also has these statistics about falls:
- In one out of five falls, there are broken bones or a head injury
- Three million older adults are treated in the ER for fall injuries annually
- About 300,000 seniors are hospitalized for a hip fracture each year
There are ways to lower the risk of a fall in the home. If there are concerns about possible falls, the healthcare provider should be contacted. In the home, a professional caregiver, or a family member who is educated on the risks and prevention methods, can be of help to remove obstacles, join in daily walks, provide medication reminders, or give a ride to an exercise class such as Tai Chi to help stabilize balance.