Seniors Increasingly At Risk From Falls
A recent article from HealthDay reports that falls are becoming increasingly lethal for seniors. Included in the article are some startling statistics:
Almost 25,000 seniors over the age 75 died due to falls in 2016;
The mortality rate due to falls has nearly doubled (for both men and women) between 2000 and 2016; and
It is estimated that in 2015 alone $50 billion was spent on the treatment of injuries related to falls by seniors.
Researchers cannot say exactly why the danger from falls is increasing, but some potential causes include "the nation's advancing age . . . sedentary lifestyle, chronic diseases, neurologic issues, and incontinence, as well as higher use of prescription drugs."
Dr. Marco Pahor of the University of Florida recommended that caregivers be aware of medications that can result in low blood pressure or balance issues and should also take other steps to protect a senior's health. Ensuring seniors receive proper vision care and regular visits with physical therapists can help.
Seniors' homes should also be maintained in such a manner as to minimize the danger of falls. Measures that can be taken range from relatively simple changes like improved lighting to more complex projects like replacing floors and modifying bathrooms.