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.