This popular saying could not be closer to the truth. One in five hip fracture patients die within a year of their injury.
Did you know that falls are the leading cause of injuries and fatal injuries among older adults? Over 27,000 people die annually from a fall which comes out to one death every 19 minutes.
There are over 2.8 million emergency department visits every year or about one every 11 seconds. Falls cause 800,000 hospitalizations per year often for head injuries and hip fractures.
Falls with the older adult can be catastrophic and debilitating. Falls can lead to a decreased sense of security in their home which can lead to isolation, depression, decreased quality of life, decrease in mobility and increase in additional risk for another fall.
There are many risk factors that can lead to falls. Most risk factors are predictable and largely preventable. Here is a great guide by the CDC on preventable fall hazards.
Home hazards like cluttered walkways, uneven steps, poor lighting, loose carpets, slippery floors and not using any grab bars are easy to correct.
Poor balance and gait issues can be improved with exercises that improve balance and make legs stronger which can also make you feel more confident. Installing grab bars in bathrooms and and making sure walkers and canes are fitted correctly and used properly also helps with gait issues.
Medications are on of the easiest risk factors to change. Adults who take four or more medications at a time, have the highest risk for falling. There are also many medications that can increase the risk for falls.
An easy way to decrease falls is to reduce medications to the lowest effective dose and avoiding medications that can lead to increased dizziness, sedation, confusion, blurred vision, and hypotension.
A consultant pharmacist can do a medication review to optimize your medications for you. With my Senior Care Angel Program you can prevent a catastrophic event and enjoy an independent lifestyle for as long as possible.