Preventing Falls during the Winter Months

The winter weather accompanies the increased risk of falls.  We can minimize fall risk by eliminating some environmental obstacles.
Some of these obstacles are:
  • Dim lighting
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Clutter or pets
  • Inadequate stair design
  • Improper use of mobility devices

 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the following statistics:

  • One-fourth of Americans aged 65+ falls each year.
  • Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall.
  • Every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.
  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.
  • Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.
  • In 2013, the total cost of fall injuries was $34 billion.
  • The financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages and may reach $67.7 billion by 2020.

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