Regular exercise is a great way to help prevent falls, the top cause of injuries for seniors. September marks the beginning of the fall season – the perfect time for the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the National Council on Aging’s launch of the Falls Free Initiative, a joint project aimed at reducing fall injuries and deaths among America’s elderly. Consider these statistics:
- More than 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, entering the age group for which falls are the leading cause of injury nationwide.
- Falls result in more than 2.5 million injuries treated in America’s emergency rooms annually, including more than 21,700 deaths and 734,000 hospitalizations.
- Fatal fall injuries claim an elder’s life every 20 minutes.
- America’s emergency rooms treat new fall injuries every 13 seconds.
- One of three older adults experiences one or more falls each year, yet less than half of senior fall victims tell their doctors.
- Total direct and indirect costs of fall-related injuries, including medical fees, lost wages, etc., was estimated at $34 billion in 2013. Experts say that figure could hit $67.7 billion by 2020.
Tips to help elders avoid falls include reglar exercise to keep the body’s core and limbs strong; getting annual vision exams and updating prescribed eyewear; and outfitting homes with preventative features such as stair railings, tub and shower grab bars and added lighting. A fall can threaten an elder’s health, safety and independence and result in devastating economic and personal costs. If you or an elder you love suffer a fall caused by negligence on the part of another, such as a lack of adequate lighting, wet floor or trip hazard at a public facility, get medical treatment. Then, call 904-251-1111 to speak with an experienced slip and fall or premises liability attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell.