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Last Updated on June 13, 2024

Fall Statistics for Seniors: Causes, Consequences and How to Prevent Them

Falling is a common part of life — from when you are a baby into your senior years. However, many falls can be prevented, especially in seniors. Looking at falls among the elderly, statistics show broken bones happen in one out of every five falls, and one out of every four adults fall each year, with surgery or prolonged recovery as a result. 

If falls in older adults statistics show a pattern, it’s that many are avoidable or preventable. Read on to learn more about different fall statistics for seniors and how to prevent them.

Fall Statistics for Seniors: Cost and Damage

Any injury has a cost associated with it — both in recovery time spent and dollars spent to treat the injury. Emergency departments treat over 2.5 million elderly people each year for injuries caused by falls. 

Senior fall statistics show that the most common injuries are either a head injury or hip fracture. Causes of falls in elderly vary from slips in the shower or tub, uneven carpeting or loose rugs, and items that fall on the floor. A combination of environment and physical abilities can lead to falls. Strengthening the hips and legs can assist with overall stability, but it’s not a perfect fix.

Check out these additional falls in the elderly statistics to learn the bigger picture:

  • Fall injuries cause over 700,000 patients to be hospitalized each year.
  • Hip fractures account for at least 250,000 of those hospitalizations.
  • Falling is the number one cause of hip fractures, accounting for over 95% of all hip fracture injuries.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are most commonly caused by falls.
  • Fall injuries account for roughly $34 billion annually in medical costs. Two-thirds of the costs are spent on hospital care.

Installing items like grab bars in bathrooms or stairlifts in your home can help ensure you or your loved one can move independently and safely at home.

Prevention and Impact of Falls on the Elderly

Any fall, regardless of age, can be alarming and, of course, unexpected. Elderly injury statistics capture the number and type of injuries. However, let’s look into ways to prevent falls or reduce their impact.Image of a man with a cane for an article about fall statistics for seniors and how to prevent them.

Often, the easiest remedies are right in front of you. Wearing suitable footwear — rubber-bottom slippers indoors and shoes that secure the ankle outdoors can help stabilize feet. Adding accessibility ramps can help those with walkers or wheelchairs move over difficult terrain. Home stairlifts can assist people up and down stairs and help avoid trips on stairs.

In bad weather, clothing is everything. Winter weather shows an uptick in falls in the elderly statistics, partly due to ice, snow, and other severe weather conditions.

More than 95 percent of hip fractures are caused by falling sideways. Learning to fall is an essential part of gyms for children but is often overlooked by seniors. Exercises that strengthen the hips, like lunges and Tai Chi, can help stabilize the lower body so balance is more easily maintained.

Fall statistics for seniors are noted by geography, too. Those living in a city are more likely to fall due in part to more frequent movement out of the home or slippery sidewalks than those in suburban or rural areas, likely due to a reliance on cars with fewer trips away from home.

For more information about fall risks and how to prevent them in you or your loved one, contact Williams Lifts today.