Fall statistics indicate that 1 in 3 elderly people (aged 65 and older) will incur a fall this year. Moreover, falling once doubles one’s chances of falling again. This may not sound as serious as it really is until you put into perspective the cost and damage caused by falls. Here are some of the latest fall statistics which show exactly why falls are such a concern.
Fall Statistics: Cost and Damage
- Serious injuries, such as broken bones, are caused by every 1 in 5 falls.
- Emergency departments treat over 2.5 million elderly people each year for injuries caused by falls.
- The most common injuries are either a head injury or hip fracture.
- 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.
Thankfully, the majority of falls do not cause injuries, but when injuries happen they can be devastating. In addition to hip fractures, falls are liable to cause broken wrists, arms, and ankle. Severe damage may be caused to any part of the body that absorbs the brunt of the fall. Broken bones can be immediately felt and identified. What may not be as noticeable are head injuries. If an elderly person falls and hits their head they should be brought to the hospital right away to be properly assessed for any signs of brain injury.
Another type of damage, which is not often highlighted in fall statistics, is psychological damage. Even if a fall doesn’t cause physical damage, those who fall may find themselves develop a fear of falling. The fear may become so pronounced that it starts to impact the person’s everyday life; making them less active and thus weaker if another fall were to occur. Staying active helps keep your body in the best condition it can be in to prevent falls.
Stay Safe With a Checklist
In addition to keeping your body active, we recommend keeping your home properly maintained as well. There are several ways you can prime your home to turn it into a safe and fall-free environment. It’s a good idea to have a fall-prevention checklist on hand to keep not only your body safe, but your mind sound.
A checklist, broken down by each room in the house, is an excellent way of achieving the peace of mind, especially if you’re suffering from any of the psychological trauma mentioned above. With a checklist you’ll know you’ve done everything you can to stay safe and independent in your own home. Not sure where to start? We have put together a sample checklist that you can follow and modify according to the arrangement of your home.