Every year 31,000 people in the United States die from a fall! In comparison 33,000 people die from car accidents.
Every 11 seconds, a patient is treated in the Emergency Department for a fall.
Every 19 minutes, a patient dies from a fall.
The total cost of falls in the United States is $35 billion a year.
One third of Americans aged 65 and over fall per year.
Half of senior Americans who fall don’t tell anyone, usually out of fear of losing their independence.
Patients who fall and break their hip have a 30% risk of dying within one year!
What can be done to prevent falls? The elderly should be asked if they have had a fall within the past year, to identify their risk. Physical Therapy programs can improve balance. Medications should be closely managed to ensure that they are not causing dizziness. The home should be checked for safety, such as cords or rugs that could cause a problem. Consideration of bone strengthening supplement such as calcium and vitamin D should be considered. And it is important to check that the elderly have vision checks, to ensure that poor vision is not a cause of their falls.