According to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of death and injury among seniors age 65 and older.
In 2014, Americans in this age group suffered 29 million falls that caused seven million injuries and resulted in $31 billion in Medicare expenses.
Unless preventive steps are taken, the CDC expects fall-related injuries among 65-and-older Americans to surge as more than 10,000 Americans reach the age of 65 every day.
That is why the CDC formed the Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI) initiative. STEADI provides resources, guidelines and educational information for caregivers, patients and healthcare team members to assist in fall prevention.
The CDC is also encouraging healthcare providers to integrate fall-prevention into routine visits with elderly Americans, including:
- Conversing with patients to find out if patients have fallen
- Switching patients off of medications that could increase the likelihood of falling
- Suggesting that patients take vitamin D supplements
There are also some simple steps that seniors can take to prevent falls, such as:
- Speaking with your physician about fall prevention
- Reviewing current medications with your doctor
- Ensuring that your eyeglass prescription is up-to-date and having annual, routine eye exams
- Joining classes or activities, like Tai Chi, that help improve your balance and strengthen your legs
- Analyzing your home for fall hazards and making necessary corrections to reduce the likelihood of a fall
Falls are one of the leading causes of injury at nursing homes and falls often happen because of the negligence of nursing home staff members.
If your loved one fell because of neglect or abuse at a nursing home, the nursing home abuse lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani and Levy will fight for maximum compensation. We offer a free consultation and you do not owe us anything unless we are successful.