We all fall. We all have accidents. When senior’s fall, they are more likely to get seriously hurt. One in four Americans over sixty-five (65) fall each year. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a senior dies every 19 minutes from a fall, and seniors are admitted to emergency rooms every 11 seconds. Falls are the leading fatal injury among seniors. They are the number one reason for nonfatal trauma hospital admissions. Over 2.8 million seniors are treated in emergency rooms each year resulting in 800,000 hospitalizations. All in, the annual medical cost of falls for seniors is around $60 billion in annual cost and going up.
Falls Change A Senior’s Lifestyle
With these numbers, it’s not surprising that seniors are afraid of falls. If you’ve spent time in senior housing facilities you’ll hear about falls. Things like, “Ms. Sally from next-door fell last year and her kids took her out of here,” or “We aren’t set up for people that can’t walk on there own, we’re an active adult community” or “Mr. Ben hasn’t joined us to eat in over a month, I hope he can walk again.” These refer to real fears.
Seniors fear falls. They have real reasons to fear them. In response, many limit their activities and socialize less. Limited physical and social activities often lead to things like depression, social isolation, feelings of helplessness, and feelings of hopelessness.
Many Senior Communities Don’t Support Injured Seniors
Active communities don’t want immobile seniors. Many don’t have ramps or sidewalks. A serious fall is often perceived by a senior’s family as a sign the senior shouldn’t be in their own home. Living in your own home is often contingent on mobility. In assisted living facilities and nursing homes, falls often lead to a rapid decline in quality of life.
CarePlanIt classifies every issue into one of five key areas: health, housing, finances, end-of-life chores & family communication. Once done, the CarePlanIt framework allows you to create an optimized process of addressing the challenge. You minimize your family’s time and costs while maximizing your chance at reaching an ideal solution. Although all five categories work together, it’s important to make an initial categorization.
A fall is a “Health” issue that is evaluated by the chronic or temporary affects of the fall. CarePlanIt’s classification of health issues can help you better understand the impact of a fall on your life. In short, someone that does not properly assess the effects of the fall is likely to have additional problems that will quickly lead to declinations in quality of life and an increase in need for family and community support.
Quick Ideas To Minimize Falls & Accidents
Great References for Falls & Accidents
Centers for Disease Control information about falls & accidents – click here
Fall & accident information at the Mayo Clinic – click here