As we get older there are many things that can go wrong, from debilitating diseases to the loss of range of motion and stability. With this in mind, we thought we would talk about the leading cause of injury and death among seniors today – falls. While for many of us, the notion of falling is just something that happens when we are clumsy and not paying attention, but it is always something we bounce back from. However, for the elderly, this isn’t always the case. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 30 million older adults fall every single year, making it the top cause of injury and death in this age group.
This may come as a shock to many, but for others it is all-too common of an occurrence. As we age, it is no secret that we lose our ability to perform everyday tasks that came with ease in our younger years. It can be extremely frustrating for seniors to experience falls, as they simply cannot bounce back like they used to. There are many different reasons for this, from loss of strength to weakened bones and other ailments that keep them down. Before we go any further, let’s look at the facts about falls and seniors:
- Of the almost 30 million falls, 7 million resulted in injuries (which is about $31 billion in annual Medicare costs)
- Falls are to blame for more than 27,000 deaths among seniors every single year in the United States
- Approximately one-third of the senior population over the age of 65 falls each year
- The risk of falls increases proportionately with age
- At 80 years of age, more than half of seniors fall every year
- Many falls go undocumented or reported, which means that these numbers are likely much greater
- Those who fall are two to three times more likely to fall again
- Approximately half (53 percent) of seniors who are discharged for fall-related injuries will experience another fall within 6 months
- 87 percent of all fractures among the elderly are due to falls
- Falls account for 25 percent of all hospital admissions and 40 percent of all nursing home admissions
- While many falls do not result in injury, about 47 percent of all non-injured fallers cannot get up without assistance
- Approximately 1 in 5 falls results in a serious injury (such as broken bones or a head injury)
As you can see, falls are no laughing matter among seniors. In order for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to adequately care for their senior residents, it is of the utmost importance that they have a system in place aimed to prevent falls from occurring. With more and more attention being placed on quality of care in senior living communities and other SNFs, it is essential that we work together in order to keep our senior residents safe and comfortable.
To learn more about falls and seniors or anything else related to the skilled nursing industry, please do not hesitate to contact Shep Roylance of JCH Senior Housing Group today.