Here are 6 facts to help build a clearer picture of why falls are a serious issue:
- 1 in 3 older adults will experience a fall. This is significant because falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries in older adults.
- Every 15 seconds, an older adult is seen in the emergency room for a fall-related injury.
- In 2010, over 2.3 million older Americans were treated in an Emergency Department for nonfatal injuries from falls, and more than 662,000 were hospitalized.
- Over 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls. In 2010, there were 258,000 hip fractures and the rate for women was almost twice the rate for men.
- The death rate from falls among older adults has increased by 55% from 2000 to 2007; in 2010 over 21,000 older adults died as a result of a fall.
- The total cost of fall injuries for older Americans was estimated to be $30 billion (in 2010 dollars). By 2020, the annual direct and indirect cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $ 59.6 billion including a Medicare cost of over $32 billion.
Falling is NOT an inevitable result of aging. Through evidence-based interventions, practical lifestyle adjustments, and community partnerships, we can substantially reduce the number of falls among older adults. Stay tuned for our next article this week on the four steps you can take to prevent falls!