Reading through all of this information may be confusing; feel free to reach out to us directly at (818) 279-6580 to speak to an intake coordinator who will take down your concerns and have one of our care coordinators call you back within 1-3 business days.
Why Focus on Falls?
Falls remain the leading cause of injury death for older Americans. Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs. CDC’s Injury Center monitors falls, fall-related injuries, and associated costs, reporting:
- One-third of Americans aged 65+ falls each year.
- Every 13 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 20 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.
- Falls result in more than 2.5 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 734,000 hospitalizations and more than 21,700 deaths.
- In 2013, the total cost of fall injuries was $34 billion. By 2020, the annual direct and indirect cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $67.7 billion.
In addition to pain and suffering, and the high cost of rehabilitation, falls with or without injury also carry a heavy quality of life impact. A growing number of older adults fear falling and, as a result, often self-limit activities and social engagements. Resulting limitations can result in further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness.
This potentially bleak future for aging Americans is not inevitable; evidence-based interventions that target individual risk factors for falling have been shown to reduce falls and promote falls self-efficacy.
Fear of Falling
Many older Americans experience something that may be more common than actually experiencing an injury from a fall. Their fear of falling means that they lack the self-confidence to perform their every day, normal activities. This may be due to a history of falls, but some people who have never fallen also suffer from the fear of falling.
Fear of falling can lead to avoidance of activities. Sometimes restricting certain activities can improve your safety, such as avoiding step stools or ladders, however, activity restriction can mean that you avoid activities that you could perform safely. The danger is that you may become more sedentary, which leads to decreased physical conditioning which, in turn, can actually increase your risk of falls.
In addition to decreased physical activity, a person with fear of falling may also experience:
- Problems with walking and balance
- Use of a walking aid such as a walker or cane
- Reduced quality of life
- Social isolation
1. Proper Medication Management
Medications management is crucial to sustaining good health, but at Helping Hands Foundation we want you to just take a moment to consider the effects that medication, or a mix of medications, may have on your balance and your risk of injury from a fall or a slip. Remember, our goal is to help you prevent slips, falls and accidents. We have a two part program to help our senior clients avoid unnecessary risk by checking for harmful medication interactions and checking to see how specific medications are metabolized.
2. Home Safety Evaluation
(Checklist to be attached soon)
3. Get Appropriate Equipment
We can coordinate an in-home evaluation for Medicare beneficiaries who would like to know if any equipment is available to help them with their posture, reducing pain or improving mobility.
Please call (818) 279-6580 to learn more about AMAZING resources!