They say that the best time to prevent an accident is before it occurs. Like before a car crash, you want make sure that your vehicle’s brakes are okay and make sure everyone is wearing a seat belt. Or before going on a nature hike, you want to make sure you pack a first aid kit and plenty of water. Being prepared for the unexpected is necessary, especially when it involves seniors, balancing issues, and falling accidents. Thankfully, many independent and assisted living communities are taking steps to prevent these events from happening, as well as taking the precautions to alleviate the effects should it occur.


Known Facts about Senior Falling Accidents

known facts about senior falling accidents

For many years, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have monitored the yearly increase of senior falling incidents. What they have found can be seen as alarming for seniors and loved ones with senior parents.

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  • On average, one in four seniors experiences a fall each year.
  • Once every eleven seconds, a senior is treated in an emergency room due to a falling incident. Additionally, even nineteen minutes, a fatality due to a fall is reported.
  • Falls are considered to be a leading cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospitalizations among seniors. They’re also considered to be one of the leading causes of fatal injuries among seniors.
  • Falls are the main cause in around 2.8 million senior injuries annually. This includes over 800,000 hospitalizations and 27,000 deaths.
  • Falls affect everyone on a financially level as well. Back in 2015, it was reported that the total cost all of senior-related fall injuries were around $50 billion. A majority of this was handled by both Medicare and Medicaid. Since both are funded by taxpayers, everyone is financially affected. This cost is expected to increase to $67.7 billion by 2020, as the senior population in American continues to grow.


What Health Issues Affect Seniors and Falling?

what senior health issues cause falling incidents

A majority of contributions to senior falling incidents are related to a senior’s ongoing lifestyle and status of health. Certain factors like unhealthy living and ongoing medical issues are known main causes. Thankfully, at many senior living facilities and assisted living communities, the people are trained to look out for these kinds of incidents.

Decline in Exercise and Physical Fitness

There’s been an increase in obesity and sedentary living among today’s seniors. With increased weight and a weaker body to support it, seniors are more prone to lose balance and fall. Mild exercises that strengthen the muscles, increase flexibility, and retain balance can prevent seniors from falling. Additionally, a proper diet can also help reduce weight and keep the body health.

Poor Vision

Certain age-related eye problems can make it difficult for seniors to to detect objects that might cause falls (like steps and furniture). Even if a seniors is healthy, failing to see certain objects can result in injury-causing falls. That’s why seniors should get yearly vision check-ups and wear the proper eyewear at all times.

Certain Medications

Lots of seniors take certain medications to help take care of ongoing medical conditions. However, a number of them could impair a senior, leading them to a falling injury. Some medications can cause conditions like drowsiness and impaired vision/judgment. Because of this, seniors should make sure their medications won’t cause any kind of falling incidents. Thankfully many assisted living communities monitor a senior’s medication intake and make sure to watch for any troubling side effects.

Ongoing Health Conditions

A many seniors these days face a lot of ongoing conditions that might affect their balance. Conditions like arthritis and sarcopenia (weakness in muscles due to aging) can lead to poor grip, unbalance, and physical weakness. Additionally, a senior could can still feel the after effects of a medical procedure like a hip replacement. These procedures aftereffects lead to pain, discomfort, and mobility issues for seniors. The combination of these aftereffects and ongoing conditions can lead to falls, causing more problems for seniors.


What Independent and Assisted Living Communities are Doing to Prevent Senior Falling Incidents?

assisted living and preventing future senior falling accidents

Falling incidents can happen to anyone, from healthy/physically active seniors in independent living residences to carefully monitored seniors in assisted living communities. Because of that, these communities are making sure that their residents stay safe at all times.

Knowing Which Seniors That are Prone to Falling 

Communities’ staff and management are being constantly trained to find out which residents are more prone to falling. Because of that, they can take extra care of those residents, prevent any incidents occur, and make sure they aren’t left alone in case of an event. Additionally, the staff and management are taught to monitor those who might have certain conditions that might have falling and balancing issues.

For example, a common condition for seniors is being a diabetic. Seniors with diabetes experience leg and foot pain frequently, which lead to balancing issues. Another example are seniors with cognitive impairment. These seniors with a declining memorization and thought process are more prone to falling accidents. Which is why they are carefully monitored. 

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Preventing Future Falling Accidents

In manners of prevention, senior living residences are implementing exercise programs that promote better health and even better balance (since exercise helps seniors strengthen their balance). These communities are also changing their meal plans so that seniors get better nutrition, leading to healthier and more balanced bodies.

Despite the rise of falling incidents and balancing issues that seniors face, there is hope. Places like independent and assisted living communities want to make sure that their seniors don’t have to worry about any injuries related to falling and balancing issues.