As the days get shorter and the ground gets covered in ice patches, thousands of seniors end up in the ER. According to the CDC, senior falls are serious and costly:
One of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury
Each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.
Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways.
Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
In 2015, the total medical costs for falls totaled more than $50 billion. Medicare and Medicaid shouldered 75% of these costs.
In addition to the hospital costs, seniors who depend on SSI checks must reassign it to the facility of care if staying over 90 days or if not able to return home after a severe injury. In these cases, they may lose their home to Medicaid for the cost of their medical services. Married couples are not only separated, but with one of their SSI checks diverted to the facility, they are left in financial stress and in some cases, eventual homelessness.
It is a fact that seniors are one fall away from not having the option to “age in place” (to live out their life in their own home).
Knowing the potential outcomes, here are 3 essential precautions to take to prevent or decrease the risk of a fatal or life-changing fall.
Eliminate fall hazards in your home and external walk-able areas (including driveway)
b.Remove throw rugs, repair foundation cracks and loose flooring
c.Install grab bars and stair rails
Decrease your fall risk by improving your strength and balance
a.Get a physical exam by your physician, get blood test (including your D3, Iron, magnesium and Pro-Time for blood clotting);
b.Get a referral to PT or OT for strength and balance (specialists vary in each community)
c.Get a referral to OT for home safety (awareness) and function
Get a Home Modification assessment by a Certified Aging in Place Specialized Occupational Therapist to determine if your home will meet your needs as you age in place.
Many seniors have not considered the cost of retirement communities as compared to aging safely in their home. The price tag for Assisted Living Facilities can exceed $100,000./year and Long-Term Care insurance may not pay 100% and may have restrictions for length of time covered. Your home equity may not allow you to stay as long as medically possible.
At Integrative Therapeutic Solutions, we offer comprehensive Certified Aging in Place services, home and community safety training, balance and strengthening therapies, and a 4th Quarter Aging in Place Plan of Action. We can connect you with experienced estate attorneys and financial planners.
Don’t wait, INTEGRATE your life today!