Did you know that recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that one in four senior Americans will fall this year, and nearly 3 million of them will be treated in hospital emergency rooms? Serious injuries include fractured hips and head trauma which will cause extended hospital stays for over 800,000 seniors, and sadly an estimated 27,000 will die.
In addition to the unfathomable emotional costs for family members of a Florida senior who falls, there are also the layers of additional costs that will occur. For example, did you know that according to the National Council on Aging, the average hospital bill for a fall injury is over $30,000? In fact, that amounted to more than $50 billion in 2015, with Medicare and Medicaid picking up only 75 percent of the expense.
Furthermore, seniors who fall but are not badly hurt and those who recover from an injury due to a fall often develop a fear of falling that undermines independence, physical activity and social engagement. This leads to muscular weakness, isolation and depression, all of which contribute to falling risks and declining health. Adult children of aging parents and family caregivers, who account for the vast majority of senior caregiving, suffer their own emotional burdens due to increased responsibilities and hardships.
If you are the adult child of a Florida senior that you are trying to prevent from falling, you might possibly be able to reduce the likelihood of falling by identifying risk factors, such as:
• Noticing changes in the Florida senior’s body, like frailty or imbalance.
• Observing behavioral choices, like rushing and night walking.
• Seeing environmental hazards, like clutter inside the home and obstacles in the community.
Additional preventative avenues to think about may include:
• Consulting with a doctor or physical therapist to test balance and muscle weakness
• Using walking aids, assistive devices and strength building exercises
• Going to annual vision exams and obtaining corrective lenses if needed
• Having prescription medicines evaluated for side effects, such as dizziness
There is no doubt that falls are a serious problem, but there are many ways to prevent them. Remember, prevention is always less costly than the aftermath of a senior fall.
These are just a few statistics and tips about falling as a senior and how falls impact families. We hope it offers suggestions on how to prevent the devastating costs that come from when a Florida senior falls. If this article raises more questions than it answers for you, do not hesitate to contact our office to ask us your questions or schedule an appointment.
The experienced team of attorneys here at Hemness Faller, The Law Office formerly known as Emma Hemness, P.A., are here for you and your family and we want to be YOUR estate planning and elder law attorneys. After all, we are ordinary people, providing extraordinary guidance backed by years of experience and advocacy for the vulnerable citizens in our community. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.