Falls Are Main Cause of Senior Injury, Death, CDC Says
In conjunction with the 9th Annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released findings from its latest study, revealing that falls are the leading cause of death and injury among older adults age 65 and older.
The CDC found that in 2014, senior Americans fell 29 million times leading to approximately $31 billion in Medicare costs.
Unless preventative measures are taken, the number of fall-related injuries and deaths is expected to significantly increase as more than 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day.
That is why the CDC created an initiative called Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries (STEADI), aimed at preventing falls among older Americans by promoting fall prevention routines that can be used by patients and their healthcare teams.
Included in STEADI are clinical recommendations that entail provider online training, fall screening and functional video assessments.
The CDC is also encouraging doctors to incorporate these three important steps into routine office visits with 65-and-older patients:
- Review medications that could increase the risk of falling and, if necessary, reduce dosages, switch drugs or take patients off these prescriptions
- Encourage vitamin D supplementation
- Talk to patients and find out if they fell in the past year, feel unsteady or are concerned about falling
Inactivity, loss of muscle strength, use of prescription medications and chronic medical conditions can contribute to a heightened fall risk for seniors.
Therefore, the CDC recommends older patients take action in minimizing their risk of falling by:
- Getting regular eye exams
- Improving balance and coordination through programs like Tai Chi
- Removing fall hazards in the home like unsecured rugs or uneven flooring
- Speaking to the doctor regarding fall prevention or concerns about falling
- Telling your doctor if you have recently fallen
Elderly Americans often fall at their nursing homes due to negligence or abuse. If you believe your loved one fell due to abuse or neglect, contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at Phillips Law Group to find out what legal action you can take.
Our experienced, compassionate attorneys will pursue the maximum compensation and justice your loved one deserves for his or her injuries.
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