The American Physical Therapy Association is urging older adults to take a moment to complete a room-by-room checklist to identify and repair possible fall hazards in their homes and begin an exercise plan to reduce chances of falling and risk of injury.
Let’s focus on the risks and consequences of falls among the elderly.
Here’s what we know about falls by the elderly in the community.
About one third of older people living in the community fall at least once a year.
Many experience multiple falls.
Falling rates are higher in women (40%) vs men (28%).
The risk of falls increases with age above 65 years.
Among older people living in the community, half of falls occur with their homes.
Major injuries that result from falls include fractures of the wrist, neck, trunk, and hip.
It’s all very expensive.
The bottom line?
If you care for an elderly person or know one, the checklist contains lots of common sense observations and remedial recommendations that are easy to miss.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.