September is Fall Risk Screening and Prevention Month
For our elderly to stay independent it is crucial that we educate ourselves about fall prevention. The stark reality can be found in these startling statistics, but you or your precious family member does not have to become one of these numbers. A little education and asking the right questions can mitigate the risk. Consider these alarming realities taken directly from a fact sheet created by STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries) and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- 1 in 4 people 65 years or older falls each year
- Every 20 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall
- 1 out of 5 falls causes a serious injury, such as head trauma or fracture
- Less than half of Medicare beneficiaries who fell in the previous year talked to their healthcare provider about it
- More than 3 million older adults are treated in emergency departments for non-fatal fall injuries each year
- Medicare costs for fall injuries total over $31 billion dollars Hospital costs account for two-thirds of the total (and that is just Medicare—this does not include other insurers!)
There can be a substantial cost to the individual and their family as well in the form of lost confidence, lost mobility, potential brain trauma, and even loss of life in some cases! Here are five things you can do to prevent falls:
- Speak up!
Talk openly with your healthcare provider about fall risks and prevention. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines.
- Screening by a licensed physical therapist.
Make an appointment (3 convenient locations) with Paradigm Physical Therapy and Wellness to have your risk of falling assessed.
- Keep moving!
Begin an exercise program to improve your leg strength and balance.
- Get an annual eye exam!
Replace eyeglasses as needed.
- Make your home safer!
Remove clutter and tripping hazards.
Please take the time to download this CDC checklist and go over it with those you believe are at risk for falling: